Tanzania's Water Crisis

Woman carrying a Jerry can on her head in Tanzania


  • 23 million lack access to safe water
  • 43.9 million lack access to improved sanitation
  • 76% of the total population lives on less than US$3.10 per day
Tanzania map outline


  • Market assessment conducted in 2016

The Water & Sanitation Crisis in Tanzania

Only 56 percent of Tanzania’s population of 52 million have access to an improved source of drinking water, and only 16% of Tanzania’s population has access to improved sanitation. Under these circumstances, the poor, particularly women and girls, spend a significant amount of time travelling some distance to collect water.


Water.org conducted the first market assessment in Tanzania in 2016. Results were positive and key findings were that Tanzania is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, but economic growth has not benefited all areas of the country equally. Rural areas in particular remain generally very poor, with around one third of the rural population classified as living below the poverty line. However, use of mobile banking is growing rapidly. As many as 9.8 million people currently have a mobile account. There are estimates that mobile phone agents outnumbered all other financial access points by almost 30 to 1 in 2016.

In Tanzania, demand for both water and sanitation are high. The market for water products (storage tanks, pipes, rain harvesting facilities, etc.) and suppliers appears to be dynamic. And by taking advantage of the growing digital finance sector, there is a strong opportunity for WaterCredit in Tanzania.

Given the growing sector of digital finance, the Water.org team is in process of developing a program design of WaterCredit model combined with digital finance. We plan to officially start launching WaterCredit and digital finance sector programs with selected partners in 2017.


Updated January 2017

Water.org program data through September 2016