Jump to Content or Main Navigation

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

The Source of Our Water: Tanzania

Water in Africa

Africa, Tanzania


by Lorie Burnett, Korogwe, Tanga Region, Tanzania

At my house I have indoor plumbing. The water comes from the river through a pumping mechanism or from nearby hills by gravity. When my water is cut off, I'm not sure if it's because of an actual water shortage, if it's because there's not enough water strength to reach my house, or if it's due to rationing. No one seems to be able to answer this. Few people here have running water in the house, but many get it from a spout centrally located on a street. A lot of people have houses that are equipped for plumbing, but still have no running water. During the dry season, fewer and fewer taps actually work. On several occasions last year, the school truck had to go off campus with loads of containers to fill up and bring back to school.

There have been a few months when water was very scarce, and I have truly been in fear of having to send someone down to the river for my water.

by Gary Port, Morogoro (Mzumbe), Tanzania

In my town, Mzumbe, water is piped in from a small village about 10 kilometers away, located in the Uluguru Mountains. We have two rainy seasons, November–December (short rains) and March through May (long rains). Apparently, it rains enough to keep the river flowing all year to supply both my town (about 2,000 people) as well as some local villages.

The water in the pipes is cool and clean. However, due to occasional cholera outbreaks, all water is boiled before drinking (even Tanzanians boil their water).

There have been a few times this past year when the pipes got clogged at the source. The authorities had to turn off the water for a few days. When this happened, we were forced to take the school truck to the river and fill up five-gallon buckets. This was done during class time so the students missed lessons.

World Wise Speakers

Invite a Peace Corps volunteer into your classroom to share what it's like to live a global life by sharing stories, cultures and knowledge.