BY ERICK KABENDERA, 12 JUNE 2013
Zanzibar — Khadija Komboani’s nearest well is filled with salt water thanks to the rising sea around Tanzania’s Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar.
And until recently, the 36-year-old mother of 12 from Nungwi village in Unguja on the northernmost part of Zanzibar, spent most of her day walking to her nearest fresh water supply to collect safe drinking water.
“The water is very salty so it can’t be used for anything. You will use a lot of soap and water if you use it for washing clothes or dishes. Another difficulty is that you can’t use it for cooking or drinking. That is why we had to walk for long distances to collect water from fresh water wells,” Komboani tells IPS.
According to Zanzibar’s Department of Environment, rising sea levels have resulted in seawater mixing with fresh water supplies and contaminating the wells here. Zanzibar does not have rivers and the main source of water remains groundwater, which depends on the currently erratic rainfall. “The villages used to be far from the shore, but now everyone lives close to the ocean.” — Masoud Haji
But thankfully, for Komboani, the experience of spending hours collecting water is now just a memory, since the implementation of a project to supply clean and safe water to households in her village.
In October 2012, the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) constructed an eight-km pipeline from Kilimani village, in the interior, to Nungwi village, which lies along the coast. A huge water tank near Kilimani village sustains the water supply.
The AAP, a climate change programme implemented in 21 African countries, aims to assist Tanzania with the development of climate-smart policies and climate change adaptation projects.
Meanwhile, the 15,000 people from Nungwi village now have access to water 24 hours a day, which can be sourced from taps and reservoir tanks.
Link to the entire article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201306120717.html?aa_source=mf-hdlns