Dar es Salaam. Sanitation financing has received a boost in Tanzania as a humanitarian society started an initiative that will address challenges in the rural areas.
The Catholic Relief Services (CRS), has started an innovation initiative to address challenges of sanitation financing following a high demand for the service especially in rural areas.
The CRS project manager for Youth Engagement in Sanitation, Business (YESB), Mr Ephraim Tonya, told Business Week that through funding from Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), they have come up with YESB that is implemented through Public-Private Partnership Project for Small Scale, Youth-Led Sanitation Business Development in Rural areas.
He said that the Ministry of Health has authorised approach to conduct sanitation improvement in rural areas through Community Lead Total Sanitation (COTS) guidelines.
However, he noted that the guidelines only focused on demand application and had left out the finance part which lead CRS to come in with a business plan that will take on board both demand and finance.
Explaining, he said that through the Ministry of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) guidelines every municipal council must allocate 10 percent of its own source fund to finance community based projects.
“Through the funding 4 per cent goes to women, 4 per cent to the youth and 2 per cent for the disabled. He noted that they used the loophole to build capacity for the youth to seek funding for sanitation business: enhancing financing mechanism at youths,” he said.
“We decided to build capacity of the youth to implement the project after it came to our attention that a majority of the people in the rural areas lack proper toilets that meet the standards of the Ministry of Health.
To qualify for the funding, the youths were required according to municipal council guidelines to be between 18 and 35 years, in registered groups recognized at the municipal council level, and to have a sound proposal for financing.
“Youth Selected Groups (YSGs) formed and trained on masonry and certified, registered and trained on entrepreneurship and submitted business plans to LGAs for loans equivalent to Sh60 million in the three districts and at least 30 per cent of those applied were girls,’ he said.
Explaining ,he said their baseline research showed the actual need for sanitation was 60- 80 per cent in all districts of Mbeya region including Mbarali, Chunya and Mbeya.
“We discovered that a majority had either traditional pit latrines or improved pit latrines including those that were practicing open designation which is a huge challenge and proved that they did not qualify as having proper toilets,” he said.
According to standards, at least one was expected to have ventilated improved pit latrines, flast toilets (pour) or the modern toilet known as ecological sanitation latrine (Ecosan).
He said in order for one to meet the requirements of a standard toilet it was mandatory that the toilets had four walls, permanent roof, washable floor, permanent door as well as a washing facility.
He said that recipients for the funding of the project because other than other qualifications the program for sanitation business was also looking at youths at risk.
He noted that the project is currently being implemented by six youth groups with 121 youths including Chunya 26 boys and 13 girls, Mbarali 30 boys and 12 girls, Mbeya 29 boys and 11 girls.
Mr McGinty said that HDIF has learned a lot from running the largest innovation programme in the country, supported by almost £40 million British Pounds in financing from UKAid to innovative ideas to pilot and scale in Education, Health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).