With Tanzania’s parliamentary budget session in progress at the moment, Mwananchi newspaper’s resident cartoonist, Masoud Kipanya, has found a new theme – budget bling. I think it’s a powerful one, and judging by the number of times these have appeared in my twitter feed and facebook timeline, I’m not alone.
(For non Swahili-speakers, “serikali” means government.)
Hello, yes, donors, yes, as usual, my budget has dropped.
This blogpost was originally published on the Ideas for Africa blog, run by the International Growth Centre (IGC) of the London School of Economics and Oxford University. It is co-written with Ruth Carlitz of UCLA.
A few weeks ago, the Tanzanian NGO Twaweza released a research brief detailing the ongoing challenge of access to clean water in the country. The brief showed that just over half of all Tanzanians (54%) obtain their drinking water from an ‘improved’ source; the figure for rural citizens is even lower at just 42%. These findings become even more striking when put in the context of recent investments. As shown in the figure below, Tanzania’s current level of access is similar to that of 20 years ago, despite a lot of money having been spent.
Figure 2 from “Money Flows, Water Trickles,” Sauti za Wananchi Brief No. 10.