Access to Water in Tanzania

Lead Researcher: Dr Neil Munro

Dr Neil Munro with Tanzanian geographer Dr Opportuna Kweka of the University of Dar Es Salaam, recently published an article in Journal of Development Studies entitled 'Trust in providers of domestic water: a comparison of the public utility and informal vendors in Dar es Salaam.' The article used data from a 2018 survey which they conducted in that city on citizens’ access to water and accountability for its provision. They have been engaging with NGOs, officials and academics working on urban water governance in Tanzania and across Africa to promote awareness of their data set, and to encourage engagement with their findings.

In July 2021, in cooperation with their partners, Edinburgh-based Water Witness International and the Tanzanian NGO Shahidi wa Maji, Neil and Opportuna ran an online symposium with eight speakers over four days speaking on topics ranging from key institutions and challenges through theories of change and decentralised WASH technologies to community dynamics. Sixty-four people from across the region attended the sessions. The symposium also featured four short films documenting responses by stakeholders to questions about social accountability for water provision.

Further work is planned to increase awareness amongst NGOs about how social science research can help to understand community responses to water access problems, and how they perceive different kinds of providers.  Through engagement work, the pair hope to sensitise NGOs to public perceptions of water issues and thereby increase the effectiveness of their interventions.