Top Ten Facts About Living Conditions in Tanzania Tanzania is an East African country best known for its safaris, the Serengeti National Park and the “big five” game, or the elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. But what does it feel like to live and work in this country? How do natives of Tanzania go about everyday life? In the article below, top 10 facts about living conditions in Tanzania that will try to answer these and other questions, are presented.

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Tanzania

  1. The land is a very important asset in safeguarding food security. The nine main food crops in Tanzania are maize, sorghum, millet, rice, wheat, beans, cassava, potatoes and bananas. The Tanzanian government encourages 25 million young people to choose agricultural industry as their line of work. Tanzania’s agricultural industry makes more than $1 billion in crop export per year and contributes to nearly 30 percent of the country’s GDP.
  2. Self-employment is very popular in the country. One out of every three Tanzanians runs a small business such as a restaurant, shop or a consulting company that employs less than nine employees. Entrepreneurship is a major stepping stone for the citizens of the country as it allows them to be self-sustainable.
  3. Tanzania’s urban population is mostly concentrated in Dar-es-Salaam, the biggest city, who has 4.3 million people and Zanzibar with 1.3 million. Both cities have metro areas and a port of entry. Even though these two cities are urban meccas, 80 percent of Tanzanians still live in rural areas.
  4. Tanzania has a fast population growth and a high fertility rate. In 2012, Tanzania had a population of 49 million and today the population is around 60 million. Tanzanian women have five children on average. In addition, the death rate is falling, and citizens are living well into their late 60’s. It is projected that Tanzania will have 100 million citizens by 2035.
  5. The Government of Tanzania pays some of its deficits thanks to its minerals industry. Gold is a major commodity with $1.46 billion being exported in 2017 and around one million people being employed by the mining industry, making Tanzania the third largest African nation to produce this mineral. The Minerals minister wants at least 10 percent of the mineral company’s earnings to go to the country’s GDP by the year 2025. This stemmed from a tax issue with Acacia Mining Plc, one of the largest gold mines in the country. 
  6. Thirty percent of Tanzania land is a national park and the country is surrounded by three of the largest lakes in the world. However, Tanzania is struggling with water scarcity in rural areas. Only half of the population has access to clean drinking water. There are organizations who aim to fix this problem. The Water Project raises money to build new wells, fix neglected wells, build rain tanks and protect springs. They work with the communities and locals to determine what are the best options and solutions.
  7. Tanzania’s climate ranges from tropical to temperate. Farms and livestock depend on the rain, but years of drought have brought famine to the country. Tanzania has had a drought period since 2017 and is suffering from less than 30 percent of its normal rainfall. Due to the lack of water, almost 4,000 livestock have been killed, With the dying animals and lack of crops, there is a fear this will lead to food shortages in an already poverty-stricken country.
  8. Over 35 percent of Tanzania’s population lives in extreme poverty. A major cause of this is the country’s low pace of urbanization. Around 34 percent of the population lacks basic amenities such as electricity, sanitation and education.
  9. Former president and father of Tanzanian independence Julius Nyerere was a teacher. Today, the country ranks at the bottom in terms of education. While 94 percent of children enroll in school at the primary level, 20 percent of students drop out before finishing, and only 15 percent complete secondary school. Some reasons for this are lack of trained teachers, lack of money and not lack of space in schools. In 2015, Tanzania abolished school fees and tuition in hope that more children would be able to attend school. But even though official school fees are no longer required many students still can not afford to attend lessons due to other costs such as uniforms, transportation and books.
  10. In Tanzania, psychology does not represent a discipline. Psychological services are not yet regulated and universities do not even have a department named for it. Bloom Consultancy is a local organization that is hoping to educate Tanzanians on how to be mentally healthy and keep maintaining good mental well-being. Most natives would compare mental health with having a mental illness. Recently, with technology development, there has been an increase in awareness of this issue. Tanzanian Psychological Association has been founded in 2009 and Muhumbili National Hospital in Dar has also started providing support groups and psychology educational seminars for Tanzanians.

Some of the top 10 facts about living conditions in Tanzania are hard to comprehend while others show signs of hope for the country. Even though Tanzania has areas that need improvement, like education and universal access to clean water, it has made strides in improving mental health acceptance, self-employment and usage of natural resources. The country is improving with help from the government and the people who call Tanzania home.

– Jennifer O’Brien

Photo: Unsplash

The Water Project
The average American family uses roughly 552 gallons of water each day, while the average African family uses about five gallons of water per day. Girls in the sub-Saharan country of Kenya are robbed of their right to receive an education due to water scarcity.

Education Delayed Due to Water Scarcity

The literacy rate of females over the age of 15 in Kenya was 74 percent in 2016. The Education Policy and Data Center reported that 88 percent of children between the ages of six and 13 attend primary school; however, the report notes that many of the children attending primary school are outside of the official age range, meaning they are not attending school often enough to stay on schedule with the curriculum.

Instead of attending school, many girls spend their time carrying a 40-pound water can full of dirty water from sources miles away from their homes. This exhausting task leaves many girls unable to receive a formal education. Even if a girl is not burdened by the responsibility of journeying for hours to fetch water for her family, if schools cannot provide water, they are unable to run their programs.

How Does The Water Project Make a Difference?

The Borgen Project spoke with Lisa Sullivan, the director of marketing and communications at The Water Project, who provided insight into just how monumental of a difference it makes when clean water is readily accessible to girls.

The Water Project is a nonprofit organization located in Concord, New Hampshire that provides reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa. In western Kenya, The Water Project sponsors a community-led organization that is represented by a powerful, strong Kenyan woman named Catherine Chepkemoi. This woman works for empowerment in Kenya, specifically for younger girls, by teaching them about hygiene and water sanitation.

Sullivan stated, “These women are essentially cultivating future women leaders. When they are not gathering water, they are able to stay in class and compete with the boys.”

The organization spends time in western Kenya, addressing water quality by installing rain tanks at schools and protecting springs. Eastern Kenya is constantly in a drought; the region once had four rainy seasons a year, but is now down to one. With such limited rainfall, the organization provides water for people to use for bathing and sanitation.

Improvements in Water and Education Have Wide-Ranging Effects

The Water Project website reports that “for every 10 percent increase in women’s literacy, a country’s whole economy can grow by up to 0.3 percent.” Women can increase economic growth because they tend to invest in their own communities. Women will invest in their children’s education because they aspire to send them to schools and college.

Sullivan points out that “once you bring in water, now not only are they eating healthy, they are not spending their money on medical bills, which allows them to save their money and place it back into their communities.”

If a community in Kenya invests in an irrigation pump, it will allow them to sell more goods, generate more income and expand the opportunity for families to send their children to college–all because of access to clean water.

The Water Project is supporting an agent of change for Kenyan women and girls. It continues to reinforce female empowerment and furnish clean water. Kenyan girls now have a better chance to gain an education and participate in the development of their country.

– Angelina Gillispie

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in Africa
There are many ways to help people in Africa. With many of its countries referred to as underdeveloped nations, it is easy to understand why. This is the reason why so many people who want to help turn their attention to the disenfranchised of Africa. For those interested in how to help people in Africa, this article will try to provide a place to start.


One problem that affects the people of Africa is the most vital resource of all life—water. Developing nations experience the issue of unclean water most severely, with as much as 80 percent of illnesses being traced back to poor water and sanitation quality. In sub-Saharan Africa, 319 million people are without access to improved reliable drinking water.

An organization that looks to curb this imminent problem is The Water Project, an organization dedicated to providing safe, clean water to all people worldwide. They accomplish this by working with local teams in the affected region and, through this cooperation, create and implement clean water programs.

A person looking for how to help people in Africa can find a great method through this organization. One of the most helpful and readily available ways to help this group is by donating to help The Water Project carry out its projects.

Another way to help The Water Project is by creating a fundraising page. There have been over 3,000 fundraising pages created that have raised more than $3 million. There are even more ways to lend a helping hand, including starting a campaign, taking “the water challenge” and becoming a member.


Food and Nutrition
Another problem that many impoverished people in Africa face is lack of proper nutrition, or lack of food altogether. This is especially the case in the Horn of Africa (the peninsula in the east, including Somalia and Ethiopia), where 11 million people are in urgent need of food assistance.

Anyone looking for how to help people in Africa can do so by assisting the World Food Programme (WFP), an organization dedicated to helping the world’s hungry through grassroots methods that has helped over 80 million people in 80 different countries since its inception.

To help, the WFP has listed ten different ways for the average citizen to lend assistance to those in need. These methods include donating both by computer and by text message, spreading the word through sending online quizzes and informational videos, using social media and much more, all of which are simple and easy to do from home.


Volunteering Abroad
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in a more grassroots fashion. For those wondering how to help people in Africa in a way that is a bit more involved, volunteering abroad provides an excellent opportunity.

By visiting the Projects Abroad website, one can find a wealth of information about how to volunteer on the ground in Africa. Margot Le Neveu, who worked in Ghana, gives a taste of what it is like to volunteer with orphans in Africa. She says, “Working at the orphanage was my favorite part of my trip to Ghana. The wood market and bead market were nice to visit, however I really loved playing with all the children at the orphanage.”

Projects Abroad offers several different ways to volunteer, including with day care centers and kindergartens, special needs children and at orphanages themselves. This service provides much-needed growth, stability and social interaction to children that would otherwise do without. Volunteers working through the Projects Abroad programs say they feel that they are “really making a difference”.

All of these organizations offer a variety of ways to help people in Africa. No matter which option you choose, you can know that your assistance is making a vital difference in the lives of impoverished people.

Stephen Praytor

Photo: Flickr


Donate to fight global poverty today


Due to widespread pollution, the water quality in Tanzania is poor. While the nation as a whole is affected, cities on the coast receive the most contaminated water because of insufficient sewage regulation.

Untreated sewage is often deposited into the sea, polluting the country’s coastal waters. Not only does this threaten marine biodiversity, but it has spread diseases on land as well. Salim M. Mohammed, a researcher at the University of Dar es Salaam, says that the most common of these diseases are diarrhea, gastroenteritis, cholera and dysentery, all of which can cause death under certain circumstances.

Sewage mismanagement occurs inland as well, although the dynamics vary. Ground wells, which provide water to some Tanzanians, are often contaminated by leaks from drainage systems. As a result, the water often contains fecal matter that people have no choice but to drink from, bathe in or wash their clothes in, as reported by The Water Project.

Aside from domestic waste, these coastal cities often experience industrial pollution as well. For example, debris may stem from textile production, oil and gas regulation or food processing that affects the quality of the water.

And while coastal cities may suffer from dirtier water, other coastal areas experience contamination as well. The difference comes, as Mohammed states, in that these residents suffer from the input of agricultural wastes, such as pesticides and fertilizers, via rivers and streams compared to domestic or industrial wastes.

While water purification is a complex issue, the immediate solution would involve an improvement in sewage regulation. The government of Tanzania needs to build more sewerage systems, and governmental policies must ensure its widespread implementation. Otherwise, only a small percentage of the population will continue to have access to these systems.

Likewise, similar policies must be enforced to ensure that industrial and agricultural waste does not pollute the water. If such methods are executed through the strategic use of financial resources, it is certain that the water quality in Tanzania will improve.

Gigi DeLorenzo

Photo: Flickr

Drought in IndiaIndia is suffering from a heat wave that has caused temperatures to reach nearly 124 degrees Fahrenheit in some regions. This has caused a massive drought in India.

Although June marks the beginning of monsoon season, some experts believe the heavy rain will not alleviate India’s drought problem. The Central Water Commission recently reported that the country’s 91 water reservoirs are only at 17 percent of their total storage capacity.

The Indian government estimated over 300 million people to be effected by the drought. An estimated 370 people have died due to heat and water related issues within the country.

Drought is a major problem throughout the world with the worsening climate change conditions. Even developed countries like the U.S. suffer from water supply issues. However, in developing countries, drought can have a severe impact on an individual’s quality of life.

Small farmers are suffering major losses in their crops, leading to increased hunger and eventual starvation. Various areas in India rely on government shipments of water to survive. Consequently, some have uprooted their lives in rural regions to find more reliable water sources near cities. The drought in India has even led to increased suicide rates among crop growers.

Additionally, the heat wave and drought impact the ability of Indian children to attend school. Schools in some areas have been shut down due to excessive heat and lack of water.

The drought in India has also created political conflict within some states. In Punjab, there is a heated debate over the ownership of river water and the Satluj-Yamuna Link canal.

Nearly 1.3 billion people reside in India and require reliable and safe water to survive. Monsoon season may help the water crisis in the short run, but drought within the country is a common occurrence. Effective drought control efforts are a necessity to curb the issue.

So far, the government has placed restrictions on new sugar factories and sugarcane growth—both highly water-intensive. Additionally, water trains help provide water to drought-stricken areas.

Organizations like The Water Project and the Naam Foundation are attempting to raise awareness and assistance for drought-prone areas within the country. Responsible water usage and efforts to curb climate change are crucial to preventing severe drought in India and various other nations.

Saroja Koneru

Photo: Youtube

The statistics concerning the global water crisis are staggering, especially in developing countries.

  1. 1 in 9 people or roughly 783 million individuals globally are unable to obtain safe drinking water.
  2. In developing countries, one-third of all schools, as well as one-third of all health care facilities, lack safe water and adequate sanitation.
  3. According to the World Health Organization, 3,900 children globally die each day as a result of waterborne diseases.
  4. 1.8 million people die every year of diarrhoeal diseases obtained from drinking unclean water.
  5. The illnesses caused by drinking unclean water as well as the many hours a day devoted to collecting this water, take away from and severely decrease the quality of life for entire communities.
  6. According to the United Nations, by itself, Sub-Saharan Africa loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water.

These are just a few of the shocking statistics that highlight the seriousness of the global water crisis. However, by donating and investing in initiatives that are environmentally safe and cost-effective it is possible to turn back the tide of the growing global water crisis.

Students, especially girls, who no longer have to focus time and effort on collecting water, can devote more time to attending school. With the addition of safe and sanitary latrine areas, girls can also stay in school throughout their teenage years following puberty.

With access to water, food security can become a reality in developing countries. Fewer crops will be lost and schools can begin to feed their students through the use of their own gardens, which will slash costs.

Access to clean water also means clean hands which lead to healthier bodies. People can focus on ending the cycle of poverty instead of succumbing to water-related sicknesses.

Clear cut access to clean water can also help alleviate conflicts over 276 transboundary river basins. An improved understanding of proper sanitation can increase access to clean water and significantly reduce pollution through unsanitary practices such as waste dumping into these river basins.

According to The Water Project, access to clean water alone can go a long way towards breaking the cycle of poverty for millions of people. All that is needed is to act upon this knowledge.

Drusilla Gibbs

Sources: World Water Council, Water, The Water Project
Photo: Occupy For Animals

One of the biggest issues in many developing nations with regards to poverty is the lack of necessary resources. One such resource that many impoverished people lack is safe and sustainable drinking water.

Though most countries seem to have plenty of water sources, many of these are not safe for people. This means they are not safe not only to drink but to bathe in, as many people do in poor and underdeveloped nations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has done studies that have shown that only approximately 59 percent of the world’s population has access to safe drinking water. WHO also has stated that it is proven that having adequate and sustainable water resources has prevented the outbreak and spread of disease. This means that the other 41 percent of the global population without safe drinking water are not only without a resource necessary for the sustenance of life, but are also at risk for the outbreak and spread of dangerous diseases.

For example, unsafe and contaminated water sources are responsible for the increasingly rampant spread of dangerous diseases in Africa, especially amongst young children and the elderly. Although just over half of the world has access to safe drinking water, only about 16 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa has access to such a resource.

This issue revolves around a number of flaws in the maintenance of water filtration systems in poorer countries in Africa. It is also attributed to a lack of education for the people in what they should consider safe drinking water, the potential risks of drinking from unsafe sources and how to get access to safer water.

How to make water drinkable:

Despite the flaws in the system, there are a number of actions being taken by NGOs and charity organizations as an effort to end such problems with such an essential resource. For example, The Water Project is a nonprofit organization that works with communities in sub-Saharan Africa to create sustainable and safe water filtration systems. This includes not only building infrastructure that would physically yield more drinking water, but also educating the people of the region in safer habits and smarter financial practices that would make these efforts have a more long-term impact.

It is through organizations and programs such as these and smarter maintenance of innovative systems by the states themselves in underdeveloped and developing nations that will make sustainable water resources something that 100 percent of the world’s population will soon have access to.

Alexandrea Jacinto

Sources: The Water Project, World Health Organization

water NGOs
In industrial nations with established water purification and sanitation systems, people often take their ability to turn on the tap and drink a glass of clean water for granted. The reality is that nearly 1 billion people around the world do not have access to clean water and this is a serious problem.

Eighty percent of disease in developing countries is due to bacteria, worms and other organisms found in the unclean water that one-eighth of the world uses. Water-borne diseases are one of the top killers of children under 5, causing one in five deaths worldwide. In addition, an estimated 433 million school days a year are lost to sickness, caring for the sick or fetching water, all of which further perpetuate the poverty cycle. Fortunately, water is a solvable problem.

With the work of dedicated and forceful water NGOs and local governments, clean water has the potential to reach everyone around the globe. Here are some organizations that do particularly effective work.

1. Charity: water

Charity: water was founded by Kevin Rose in 2006 as a way of putting some direction into his life. Its overall mission is to bring clean drinking water to rural areas of developing nations. Charity: water also recognizes that women in developing nations may have to walk miles to get water for their families, and that the water they bring back often has disease carrying organisms. With this in mind, Charity: water aims to build water purification and gathering systems in local communities so that clean water is readily available.

Charity: water achieves its goals by appealing to the local needs and skills. The organization fully funds, supports, trains and aids the target community in building sustainable, easy to run and simple to maintain water collection projects. In addition, Charity: water does extensive research on the target community to establish which project would be most effective for the locals’ needs. The organization then helps design plans and builds systems, including hand-dug or drilled wells, rainwater catchments and water purification systems. Charity: water gets clean water to needy communities by establishing a system for water collection, building it and teaching the locals to use it. The organization then monitors its success and maintenance. Charity:water has found great success, with thousands of projects in Africa alone, and others in Central and South America and South Asia.

2.  Global Water

Global Water is based off the understanding that a lack of access to clean drinking water is the cause of much of the world’s hunger, disease and poverty. Its goal is to build permanent and sustainable sanitation facilities and clean water access to promote health, knowledge and hygiene in developing nations.

Global Water takes several approaches to reach its goals, most of which rely extensively on partnerships with local NGOs and governments. The company realizes that it is most effective as a support for the local installation and implementation of programs rather than a group that parachutes in, builds a system on its own and leaves.

Therefore, Global Water works with local groups to design an effective project, provides equipment, expertise and assistance in the building process, and inspects and monitors the project. This significant partnership with local groups makes Global Water unique and its projects lasting and effective.

Global Water has been involved in successful well drilling projects in Africa, building everything from hand washing stations to spring catchments in Central America.

3. The Water Project

The Water Project aims for better water programs rather than a large number of unsatisfactory ones. The campaign believes that the local community should dictate what method is used to ensure that the program is enduring and life changing. As a result, The Water Project insists on taking community feedback every step of the way.

The Water Project has worked in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Uganda. While this is a more limited range of regions than other organizations of similar type, The Water Project focuses on sustainability and success rather than creating a vast array of defunct programs, and a limited range supports this work model. On top of building structures like wells, sand dams and rainwater catchment devices, The Water Project also aims to educate the local community on water safety and hygiene.

In fact, education is a fundamental part of the organization. The Water Project process starts by teaching local people about how proper sanitation and hygiene relate to health. In addition, The Water Project focuses on getting the community involved by providing support for the project, either through labor, money, food for workers, etc. Then comes the installation of the project, during which The Water Project helps get permits and dig wells. Lastly, the company conducts a final education on the new system and proudly hands over a new water system and chance for a better life to the local community. Throughout the following years, The Water Project continues to monitor and maintain its projects to ensure their lasting success.

Overall, NGOs and campaigns that provide clean water to developing nations are often the same in their final product, like the wells and lavatories they install. But each has its unique outlook on the problem and its own reputation in local communities. Without the combined efforts of these organizations and more like them, water safety around the world would be an insurmountable challenge. But because of the success of companies like Charity: water and The Water Project, it is becoming more and more possible for the  world to have access to clean water and effective sanitation.

 — Caitlin Thompson 

Sources: The Water Project, Global Water, Charity:water
Photo: Charity:water