SBL Corporate Affairs Director, John Wanyancha said recently when commissioning Machowe Water Project in Serengeti district in which the brewer has invested over 200m/-, that as a corporate responsible citizen, SBL allocates money out of its profits made to invest in various projects in the community including water supply.
“As a responsible corporate citizens we are obliged to support government efforts to investment in improvement of social services for the community,” said Wanyancha noting that through Water of Life (WOL) program, 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 neediest areas.
The brewer has financed 20 clean and safe water projects in Iringa, Mwanza, Tanga, Dar es Salaam, Coastal region, Dodoma and Mara regions. Wanyancha said that SBL’s efforts align with its parent company London based Diageo Plc whose strategic plan targets several goals, focusing on preserving water, particularly in water-stressed areas.
Machochwe ward project in Serengeti district of Mara region which SBL implemented in collaboration with UK based not for profit organization, WaterAid, will benefit more than 12,000 villagers. The borehole has capacity of 7,500 litres of water per hour.
Before the project was commissioned, residents especially women and girls had to walk long distances often lasting half a day to fetch water at natural springs and perennial rivers where they faced risks of being attacked by wild animals.
One of Machochwe ward's residents, BhokeNyamisi said the commissioning of the SBL funded project was a big relief to women and girls in the area. “We had to travel over six kilometres to fetch unclean water and often came face to face with hostile wild animals such as hyenas and elephants,” Nyamisi said.
“We were usually terrified even to send our children because sometimes they went to school late or did not go at all, but now that the borehole is completed, we believe that now we will live happily,” she said while extending a smile.
The then Serengeti District Commissioner, Nurdin Babu commended management of SBL for the investment saying it has saved lives and marriages which were threatened by water shortage.
“Now that we have this vital investment, I urge you as beneficiaries to protect the borehole from any damage so that it can last longer,” Babu said while warning thieves and vandals from sabotaging the water supply facility.
In Manyara region, residents from Galangal and Gidagamowd villagers were also relieved of water supply challenges in 2020, when SBL’s Water of Life project was commissioned. According to Gidagamowd Village Executive Officer, Jeremiah Mathiya said after commissioning of the projects that the brewer’s investment had changed people’s lives completely. “Lives of our residents have now changed for good because our people will be healthier due to reliable supply of clean and safe water,” said Mathiya who noted that most of women and girls’ time was spent fetching water.
Mariam Desiri who is a resident of Gidagamowd village, seconded Mathiya’s observations by saying that the project was life saving. “Before this project, I we have had to walk for more than 15 kilometres to Vindadi Ward to collect water ,” Desiri said saying alternatively, theyb fetched water from natural springs and perennial rivers.
The SBL project has also improved crop production in the area where the brewer also buys over 15,000 tonnes of cereals including sorghum, maize and barley for use as raw materials in beer manufacturing.
According to the Ministry of Water, water demand in Tanzania has risen remarkably with 60 billion litres consumed in 2020. The Ministry's report also projects that demand for the commodity will increase to 90 billion by the year 2035. In rural areas, water supply rose to 72.3 percent from 70.1 percent in 2020 following completion of 355 projects mostly with Treasury funding.
Such demands have convinced management at SBL to support such efforts by the state. SBL is at the frontlines to supply millions of rural residents with clean and safe water by 2030.
“So far, our Water of Life projects are estimated to support over one million lives in Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Tanga, Ruvuma, Dar es Salaam, Coast and Dodoma regions,” he said with many more benefitting in Mara and Manyara regions.