SBL rescues millions of rural dwellers through investment in water

30Nov 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
SBL rescues millions of rural dwellers through investment in water

WATER remain a rare commodity in some parts of the country with people going for days without filling a bucket while others face rationing. The problem put both the central and local governments on high alert, as efforts are done to address the challenge.

Serengeti District Commissioner, Mohamed Babu assisting a woman put a pail of water on her head during the inauguration of a 220m/- water project at Machochwe village earlier this year. File photo.

Recently, due to droughts, Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (Dawasa) cautioned the public to preserve each drop of water as shortages persist as water levels at Upper Ruvu and Wami rivers fell to record lows.

In addition to Dawasa’s alert which concerned mainly clients from Dar es Salaam and Coast regions, Minister for Water, Jumaa Aweso assured Tanzanians that his office is taking all necessary action to curb the situation.

Aweso said that they have been carrying out major institutional, financial and technical reforms to enhance sustainable water supply countrywide.

He said to address the challenge, the state has deployed qualified personnel and equipment to rural areas where the crisis has worsened.

“There are about 2,115 rural water supply agencies comprising 1,362 accountants and 1,611 technical staff' in the rural areas,” the minister noted. But the private sector has also been supporting state efforts to address the clean water supply challenge.

One such private company is Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL), which has been in the forefront to secure clean and safe water to millions of rural dwellers in the country.

Through its Water for Life project, SBL has invested in rural water supply facilities to serve communities in line with the company’s plan of action code named, ‘Society 2030, Spirit of progress.’ Since 2010, SBL has spent over 1.1bn/- drilling 18 boreholes across the country, which has contributed in alleviating shortage of the precious commodity in the country.

The brewer has partnered with other organizations in most of these projects to ensure that Tanzanians get safe and clean water in some of the worst hit areas.

According to SBL Corporate Relations Director, John Wanyancha, the brewer considers water as a critical commodity needed by the public to contribute effectively in the country's prosperity.

“This is the reason that has pushed us to always collaborate with the government and other partners in facilitating access to safe and clean water to millions of Tanzanians especially those residing in rural areas,” Wanyancha said.

Earlier this year, SBL inaugurated a 220m/- water project at Machochwe village of Serengeti district in Mara region, as part of efforts to bring safe and clean water close to the area's residents.

With capacity to serve 12,000 people, the project consists of a borehole and its systems, a solar water pump and a water tank that can produce 7,500 litres of water per hour.

The brewer has undertaken other similar initiatives in Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Tanga, Ruvuma, Dar es Salaam, Coast and Dodoma regions, where in all, over one million people are benefitting from the initiative.

"SBL has a policy commitment towards the wellbeing of our community with Water of Life being one of the company’s priority areas defined in its objectives to provide social support to the community in which it serves," he noted.

Other said priority areas include: Provision of skills for life; Environmental sustainability; and Promotion of responsible drinking.

In addition to contributing to national economic growth through consistent payment of taxes, SBL has played a pivotal role in the country’s development. Under Water of Life project, the brewer seeks to empower farmers to increase their productivity for cereals such as maize, sorghum and barley, which are vital raw materials for beer making.

In 2020 alone, SBL bought 17,000 metric tons of these cereals locally, an equivalent of 70 per cent of its annual total raw materials requirement from a network of 400 farmers.

By 2025, SBL targets to increase raw materials sourced locally to 85 percent by supporting contracted smallholder farmers with free seeds, field technical services and linking them to financial institutions.

“It is clear that SBL's community development interventions under the four priority areas is helping to improve standards of living of the people,” the Corporate Affairs Director added while stressing that the brewer will continue backing state efforts to improve people’s lives.