The project dubbed WASH and Women Empowerment (WAWE) aims to reach at least more than 180,000 people in the two famous coffee and tea growing districts. WASH is the acronym for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Universal, affordable and sustainable access to WASH is a key public health issue of international concern as the sixth UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6).
The Starbucks Foundation-funded project aims to improve the health and economic status of women and youth by removing barriers to WASH, education, health and nutrition.
Speaking at the launch in Iringa last week, WASH Program Manager, Engineer James Mturi said the WAWE project targets the two vulnerable groups in the community. Mturi, who represented Amref Tanzania Country Director, Dr Florence Temu, urged the public to support the project which will be implemented by Amref Health Africa in collaboration with Kilolo and Mufindi District Councils.
Eng Mturi said WAWE also intends to help coffee and tea growing communities meet their most critical socio-economic needs through the empowerment of around 184,500 women and youth.
Other project objectives include: establishing functional women and youth entrepreneurship groups; promote access to drinking water, improved sanitation facilities; and changing unhygienic behavior among target groups.
Amref Tanzania’s Program Manager for WASH further noted that at the impact level, the WAWE project theorizes that formal and informal groups of women and youth in coffee and tea growing communities are supported by economic empowerment.
“If women and youth are provided with skills and mentored to engage in horticulture and other value chain activities with a government-supported enabling environment for their businesses, then the project will achieve its main outcome which is to empower them,” he said.
Eng Mturi added that an economically viable community can pay for medical expenses by joining the Community Health Fund. “The launch of this project is one of Amref’s initiatives to improve access to clean and safe water in tea and coffee growing communities, in addition to the economic empowerment of women and youth” , did he declare.
In an official speech to launch the project, Iringa Acting Regional Administrative Secretary Wilfred Myuyu thanked Amref Health Africa and other stakeholders for bringing the projects to the region and promised to provide them with adequate cooperation. to achieve the targeted objectives.
Myuyu added that the government has asked players in the health sector to also get involved in the fight against the new coronavirus pandemic. “Let’s work together so that this virus does not destroy our communities,” he advised.
Meanwhile, Amref Health Africa Tanzania has also launched a one-year project dubbed Water and Development Alliance (WADA) which will be implemented in nine villages in three regions. Iringa region, the project will benefit seven villages, Njombe and Morogoro regions will have only one village each.
According to Amref Health Africa WASH Program Manager, Eng Mturi, the project implementation will include drilling three new wells in three villages, constructing toilets in five schools, renovating toilets and water infrastructure. in five schools and nine health facilities.
The project is funded by USAID, the Coca Cola Foundation and World Serve International and aims to sustainably improve the health and socio-economic status of targeted communities, particularly women and youth.
“The AMA project will partner with the Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) to provide clean water and better sanitation services in the targeted villages to improve the social and economic development,” he added.