Tegemeo Women Group Factsheet
- Founded in 2001
- WfWP member since 2005
- Mission: To supporting women to participate in taking decisions in and about the access to and management of water in the community, to improve the health of the people, to eliminate poverty, and to make the watersupply sustainable and to be an example for other groups in rural areas
- Focus area: Mweteni village, Tanzania
- Level: local
- Main themes: water, sanitation, environment, agriculture, gender, sustainable development
- Beneficiaries: 12.000
- Staff: -
- Volunteers: 29 (inclusive members of TWG)
- Annual budget (average): € 75,000.00
Both support and expectations were low when Tegemeo in 2005 was launched by a small local women group to promote gender equality at community level through a water and sanitation project, serving some 12.000 citizens in four Mweteni villages. The initiative faced scepticism from the water sector and authorities. What on earth would local women know about water, right? Donors too were reluctant to support the project, it being led by grassroots women.
Mweteni people were unwilling to cooperate, having seen a few too many consultants and development organisations passing by without delivering lasting improvements of their situation. Corrupt practices of the local project manager and contractors and unprecedented bad weather conditions during the building phase further complicated matters. And these were just some of the many challenges Tegemeo had to overcome, situated in a very remote area of Tanzania on top of that.
Yet… Within ten years Tegemeo exceeded even its own expectations in the support delivered to Mweteni. The people of Mweteni have safe access to water. They understand much more about the importance of hygiene and adequate sanitation. Children can attend school four hours more per week because access to water is near. They receive healthy meals because of water for school vegetable gardens. Schools and other public places have proper toilets. The economic development of the entire community is boosted. And: women in Mweteni now fully and prominently participate in all decision-making and communications on water and sanitation issues in the district.
From being a lobbyist in the early days, sensitizing the community and pressurizing local authorities to take an active stance in water provision, Tegemeo has grown into being the driving force behind community consultations and multi-stakeholder engagement.
Today Tegemeo is a highly competent membership organisation capable of project oversight and financial administration. Tegemeo members have become trainers on sanitation, hygiene and women rights, presenting their approach at regional and national workshops.
Project results to-date:
- Availability of water in 4 sub-villages, changed women’s lives; which has provided enough time for women to engage themselves in economic and social lives/issues and participation in village meetings.
- Water being available nearer to their homes, this has lessened the burden of women going for search of water in long distance.
- Formation and capacity building of the Water Committees. COMWE (Water Committee of Mweteni) is responsible for day-to-day management and monitoring of the systems and the water quality. This was done through assigned COMWE members trained through the project. COMWE was formed and legally registered.
- Rain Water Harvesting units for schools and hospital. Because of the availability of water via the RWH-unit the hospital is more proper. Nurses got more time to take care of the patients instead spending time on fetching water. The environment around the hospital is more proper. From the RWH-units schools get enough water for gardening. As a result they got vegetable-gardens. Also around the schools trees are planted.
- Improvement of sanitation condition and personal hygiene behaviour. To accomplish this the following activities have been established by PHAST-facilitators and TWG:
- Household to household trainings of the beneficiaries of water;
- Trainings and demonstrations to the village school receiving RWH-units;
- The trainings conducted by the Community PHAST facilitators (CPFs) who were formed during Phase 1 of the project;
- Already installed water committees were involved, because it is an opportunity for a refresher course and cross fertilisation between the subvillages.
Lead case on WASH, Mweteni Village