Access to water is not a given. We know that 3 out of 10 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water (1), and 40% of people in the world are impacted by water scarcity (2).
Every individual country has its unique challenges to ensuring water access. In rural Tanzania, a major barrier to water access is transportation. None of the villages that globalbike works in has indoor plumbing. Villagers rely on shared community pumps to access water. For 52% of the rural population, pumps can be located 30 minutes or longer from people's homes (3). They then have to carry water over long distances to wash dishes, to cook, or get a drink.
In rural areas, limited transportation options mean that the majority of people source water on foot. With a bike, people can reduce the time they spend carrying water by 75%. A bicycle allows them to carry 4 buckets of water per trip instead of 1. They can then spend more time on income generation, education, or family activities.
Each week, we will share stories of water access and water transportation in rural areas of Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania. Who exactly is affected by the work of transporting water? What variables lead to lengthy commute times to water sources? How do bicycles address this challenge? We will explore these questions through images, data, and accounts gathered at our programs this past summer on our 2017 gb connect trip.
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(3) 2015-2016 Tanzanian Demographic Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey, Key Findings