Tanzania is facing a sanitation crisis. Nearly 5 children die every hour due to poor hygiene, inadequate sanitation and sub-optimal water supply. More than 42 million people use unsanitary (unimproved) latrines and nearly 6.5 million people practice open defecation.
UNICEF launched a scaling up of WASH programme utilizing a standard household package including access to improved sanitation facilities, hygiene promotion with focus on hand-washing with soap and promotion of household water treatment and storage.
In close collaboration with other sector partners, UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to formulate a national sanitation plan with clear targets, timelines and funding requirements.
According to the 2010 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey, around 60 percent of households in Tanzania do not treat their water before drinking.
UNICEF is supporting a comprehensive national study on treatment practices in Tanzania with a consortium of international and national academic institutions.
Evidence from the research will guide the government to develop an action plan to improve water treatment and storage at household level and reduce diarrhoea and other diseases associated with unsafe drinking water.
Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage is a cheap and effective strategy for water treatment. However, households must have the motivation to treat their drinking water and the technologies and consumables must be affordable and easily available.
As part of a broader initiative, UNICEF has standardised a community level package that seeks to ensure people pursue improved hygienic practices, treat water at household level and use improved sanitation facilities.
This is achieved through changing behaviours through social marketing techniques. It is essentially anchored to creating the demand for changing the said behaviours then ensuring the supply side fulfils the changed demand pattern.