Tanzania: Lack of water behind GBV

Tanzania: Lack of water behind GBV

Date: July 7, 2018
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By Thomas Mpanji 

Mbeya, July 7 – There are many districts in the Tanzanian region of Mbeya that use unclean and unsafe water each day. One such village is Ilota which is  located on the east of Lake Tanganyika. Many residents of this area do not have clean water for consumption or to use for daily chores which is a hazard to their health.Aman Boaz and Merina Adongwisye are primary school students who find it hard to juggle between school and searching for clean water in caves after school. Their main concern is that they don’t have enough time to study as most of their time after school is spent on securing clean water.

The situation has also proved dire for women in the village. Aman Katoto, Paulina Luke and Varelia Are ftari are women residents of the village. The women often spend long hours trying to secure water which often sparks jealousy  and abuse from their husbands as the women are accused of  cheating because they stay out too long. Many women in the village face beatings from their husband for coming home late.

Some men in the village have however taken up the role of helping women find clean and safe water. These gender benders are however not many in the village, as many still believe that it is a woman job to do chores such as fetching water.

The villagers complain that the government does not intervene in the situation.
Councillor for the area, Mr. Esther Mbega said he took matter to the appropriate authorities but no action was taken to provide clean water to the residents.

Lack of water in the village puts the many lives of the residents at risk. Not only does the water pose a threat to their health but as young children and women go into caves for water, they risk getting injured or worse. This problem also has affected the performance of children in schools, as they do not spend much time studying but fetching water.

This story aimed to expose the extent to which the people of Ilota have to struggle for a basic human right, which is the right to clean water. The problem is an even greater challenge to women who fetch water until late hours and as a result are beaten and emotionally abused by their husbands.

Thompson Mpanji is a journalist for Mpanji Television. He told the story of the lack of clean water and its effect on women in a Tanzanian village for the Tanzania Gender and News summit

*Image by World Vision/ Jon Warren

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