Tag Archives: water

Three (government) statistics that could be illegal under Tanzania’s new Statistics Act

Updated 11/4/15, with responses from the Big Results Now team and the Ministry of Water – see below.

Justin Sandefur of the Centre for Global Development (CGD), writing in the Washington Post, presented five charts that may soon be illegal in Tanzania. He was referring to the Statistics Act, recently passed by the Tanzanian parliament, which makes it a criminal offence to publish false statistics, or statistics “that may result in the distortion of facts.”. This is punishable by a minimum 10m/- ($6,000) fine and/or a minimum 3 year prison sentence.

Here, I have done something similar. But I only refer to statistics produced or cited by the Tanzanian government itself.

My purpose is not to accuse any particular part of the government of deliberately misleading people, but instead to point out some of the difficulties of making it an offence to publish false or distorting statistics. Continue reading

Chart #35 – How much do public institutions owe the Dar water utility, Dawasco?

The Guardian, 8/2/15, via millardayo.com

The Guardian, 8/2/15, via millardayo.com

A quick, simple chart this time. An article on the front page of Sunday’s Guardian newspaper reported on the amounts owed by various government institutions to Dawasco, the troubled public water supply utility serving Dar es Salaam.

It’s an issue that’s been talked about for a long time – at least as long as I’ve been following Tanzania’s water sector (since 2006). But it’s usually been dealt with behind the scenes, and rarely had numbers attached to particular institutions.

So what do the numbers say?

Continue reading

Chart of the week #34: Giving birth without safe water and sanitation

Let’s start with some headline statistics:

  • 43% of births in Tanzania take place at home
  • Of these, only 1.5% take place in settings with access to safe water and sanitation
  • Only 44% of health facilities that conduct deliveries have provision of safe water and sanitation facilities

And putting that all together:

  • Only 30% of births in Tanzania take place in an environment that includes access to safe water and sanitation.

These findings come from an analysis of data from the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and the 2006 Service Provision Assessment, by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the World Health Organisation and Bugando Hospital.

Access to safe water and sanitation facilities seems like such a fundamental part of giving birth, wherever it happens. That only 30% of mothers in Tanzania have such access is pretty shocking.

But the researchers went further, to look at how access to a safe water and sanitation environment when giving birth varied across the country, and between richer and poorer Tanzanians. It turns out that the headline figures cover up some major differences.

Continue reading

Chart of the week #14: Household access to improved water and sanitation by region, Tanzania 2012

Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics has just released a huge batch of data from the 2012 Census. I will dig into this over the coming weeks and months, but here are some charts to get started. The first shows household access to improved sources of drinking water by region, the second does the same for improved sanitation. Continue reading

Two opportunities for data lovers in Tanzania

The excellent School of Data, part of the Open Knowledge Foundation, have two great opportunities for Tanzanian data lovers.

First up, a Data Expedition focussed on water sector data, for anyone with an interest in data, or water, or both. The School of Data team will be helping people to play with water sector data, and to see what interesting stories they can find within it.

It on Friday June 6, from 9:30am to 16:00, at TANZICT’s BUNI Hub, in the COSTECH / Sayansi Building (see map). You can register for free here.

More details on the School of Data site, and on the TANZICT site.

Second, an opportunity to become a School of Data Fellow. They are looking for ten data analysts/activists, including one from Tanzania, to join a six-month fellowship programme. Fellows are expected to spend at least five days per month on the programme, which includes training and other events.

From the School of Data website:

The School of Data fellowship programme aims to to recruit and train the next generation of data leaders and trainers to magnify the reach of our data literacy programme. The fellows will provide training and ongoing support to journalists, civil society organisations, and individual change makers to use data effectively within their community and country.

More details are available here, and you can apply here. But if you are interested, or if you know anyone who might be, you need to hurry as the deadline for applications is just a few days away: June 10, 2014.

When water doesn’t spout from money: the challenge of water provision in rural Tanzania

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.

Figure 2 from “Money Flows, Water Trickles,” Sauti za Wananchi Brief No. 10.

Continue reading

Tanzania’s ongoing water sector mess

Twaweza has a new policy brief out*, on a subject that’s close to my heart: water supply in Tanzania. Money flows, water trickles is the title, and it’s hard to argue with that. A lot of money has been spent, with worryingly very little to show for it.

Over the 10 year period of 1995-2005, Tanzania received USD $57 per beneficiary in aid flows earmarked for rural water supply, but coverage fell by 1%. Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda all received considerably less aid per beneficiary, but managed to improve their coverage significantly. Continue reading