The European Commission has dished out €51.51m (equivalent to 108bn/-) to the government in the framework of its Millennium Development Goals initiative.
A press statement issued by the EC yesterday in Dar es Salaam said the funds will support improved access to drinking water for an estimated 500,000 people and access to sanitation services for some 140,000 town inhabitants.
The towns include Lindi, Sumbawanga and Kigoma. The allocation emanated from a government proposal discussed with relevant stakeholders.
“This intervention, funded out of the 10th European Development Fund, is in addition to the euro555m financial envelope under the Country Strategy and National Indicative Programme for Tanzania and is meant to boost efforts to achieve MDG 7 on environmental sustainability by 2015, the statement said.
The MDG initiative was announced by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso at the UN high level summit held in September.
Under the initiative the European Commission decided to devote up to €1bn to advance progress on most off track MDGs in African, Caribbean and Pacific partner countries, in recognition of their performance, engagement and needs.
At least 56 proposals from African, Caribbean and the Pacific countries were received. Proposals from Tanzania were among the 35 withheld for funding.
Access to drinking water and basic sanitation are essential in the fight against poverty.
Millions of people especially children, die each year from diseases related to unsafe water, or for lack of access to water.
Millions more are forced to waste whole days of work or school just to fetch water from remote locations.
The numbers of those forced to emigrate by drought and climate change climb every year. Despite overall progress in drinking water coverage and basic sanitation provision, in developing countries entire areas, especially rural, are lagging behind.
EU Ambassador designate Sebregondi said: "The European Union, as the world leading donor contributing around 56 percent of total global aid, remains firmly committed to reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015."