Water supply and sanitation authorities have been tasked to erect public toilets in unplanned settlements in cities like Dar es Salaam as stipulated in the Water and Sanitation Act, 2009.
Presenting a paper at the first national dialogue on human rights to water in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Water and Environmental Sanitation Projects Maintenance Organization (WEPMO) official Imani Kasis said water authorities were supposed to put in place public toilet facilities in slums for poor people in big cities like Dar es Salaam to get access to better sanitation.
The dialogue was organised by Tanzania Water and Sanitation Network (Tawasanet), involving over 30 members from local and international civil society organisations dealing with water and sanitation issues in Tanzania.
In countries like Kenya and South Africa such kinds of projects were being implemented in line with global needs.
“In some places, the water body authorities should build public toilets, which can be shared by 10 households in the area,” he disclosed, stressing that the modalities would improve sanitation in areas where it was difficult to put up sewerage facilities.
“This is due to the fact that most slums have limited space for every household to have septic tank facilities,” he said.
The official further noted that the new law required water and sanitation bodies and municipal authorities to ensure that poor people enjoyed the right to clean and safe water.
For rural communities, Kasis implored the need for people to understand their rights as prescribed in the newly endorsed water policies, including the need for them to come up with water uses associations that would make use of the precious resource sustainable.
For her part, Tawasanet chairperson Nyanzobe Malimi called on concerted efforts to improve water supply in urban and rural areas in Tanzania.
She said in Tanzania, like any other African countries, supply of water had been diminishing due to over exploitation, rapid urban growth and environmental degradation, among other factors.
Representative from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Dialista Kirenga, stressed the need for CSOs to disseminate correct information on water and sanitation policies so that they could benefit the marginalised.
“The government appreciates the role played by Tawasanet and its members in ensuring that issues related to water and sanitation are solved and people get better services,” she said, adding that the issue of water sustainability was in the hands of all stakeholders and not the government alone.