Mwanza, Tanzania, 22 March 2020 - “New toilets have made it possible for girls to stay in school and learn, because we have our privacy”, says Khadija Ramadhani, a student at Kitangiri Primary School. Khadija is one of the 40,000 school children and teachers who have benefitted from improved sanitation through the construction of school toilets and the connection of household toilets to the simplified sewerage system under the European Investment Bank (EIB)-supported Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Programme in three informal settlements of Mwanza.

The UN-Habitat-EIB partnership is improving the lives of nearly 250,000 people, including those connected with 150 schools in the informal settlements of Mwanza. Three quarters of the population of Mwanza City live in informal settlements on the steep hills around the city. There is a lack of clean water, sanitation, roads, solid waste management and electricity.

The project which brings together various organizations including l’Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Government of Tanzania, Mwanza City Council, Ilemela Municipal Council and Mwanza Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority, is extending and upgrading the water supply, management of wastewater and sanitation.

The water points, handwashing facilities and sustained hygiene education provided in schools and communities as part of this project has also raised the level of awareness and emergency preparedness around the threat of  COVID-19  in the area.

In 2014, UN-Habitat signed a service contract with the EIB of Euros 1.58 million financed through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. UN-Habitat supports the “Mobilization and Institutional Facilitation of the Sanitation” component of the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Project in Mwanza, Tanzania.

UN-Habitat’s role is to provide technical assistance, capacity enhancement and day-to-day guidance to implement the sanitation components of the project. It heads the Sanitation Task Force and provide overall leadership on all phases of the formulation, design and implementation of the Project. The Task Force mobilises communities and provides guidance and development of proposals for areas and technical solutions for approval by the Mwanza Project Sanitation Committee. It has supported the development and implementation of an overall Stakeholder Engagement Plan, including a Grievance Redress Mechanism to give beneficiaries a say in the planning and development of the project.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, UN-Habitat has provided technical assistance, policy support and training to the authorities in Mwanza and Ilemela through training and the development of municipal bylaws to prioritize operations and maintenance of the infrastructure and to develop stringent regulations that promote q clean and healthy environment.