The Global Sanitation Fund-supported programme in Tanzania

Date: 15th May 2015

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Executing Agency:
Plan Tanzania
Programme duration:
Programme Coordinating Mechanism:
Chaired by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children

Usafi wa Mazingira Tanzania (Sanitation and Hygiene Programme in Tanzania), or UMATA, supports the country’s National Sanitation Campaign by helping communities improve their sanitation situation and adopt sustainable hygiene practices. The programme works in three districts (Bahi, Chamwino and Kongwa) in Dodoma Region, through local and international NGOs and in partnership with village, ward, district and regional actors.

2016 Highlights

In 2016, UMATA revised its implementation strategy to accelerate and scale up results. Local ownership continued to be a major focus, with the programme driving increased engagement and leadership from District Commissioners and other key district officials in the sanitation movement. With a new government established, newly appointed officials were successfully triggered. In addition, more Natural Leaders were coached to support community leadership structures. They helped ensure that every member of their community took responsibility for sanitation and hygiene, resulting in fewer follow-up visits required per village by the programme.

In addition, progress was significantly accelerated on the number of communities achieving ODF status, increasing from four in December 2015 to 41 in 2016, covering 197,250 people. Achieving ODF communities was a key challenge in the first few years of the programme, due to a long preparatory period, institutional and normative issues, and the large number of sub-villages in many villages. The challenge has been addressed through an enabling environment developed over four years. This includes a strengthened national programme with a clear focus on achieving ODF, support from the Government, clear roles and responsibilities for key government actors at all levels, and an appropriate model for implementation.

Significant progress was made in better addressing challenges related to CLTS follow-up and sustaining ODF status. Following a learning exchange with the GSF-supported programme in Madagascar, post-triggering follow-up and Institutional Triggering were adapted at the ward and village levels. Capacity building workshops were carried out for local government actors and Implementing Partners in these approaches, as well as in monitoring and school WASH.

During major sanitation-related national days and events, communities were reached through television, radio and newspapers. Menstrual hygiene management was also promoted through workshops, 144 school clubs and advocacy, leading to the construction of adequate facilities in eight schools. This brought the total number of schools in targeted areas meeting government standards for adequate sanitation to 52 out of 195 schools. In addition, the programme continued to roll out its sanitation marketing strategy, which promotes local tools and techniques to address unsustainable facilities, such as collapsing latrines. Implementing partners have trained stakeholders in 50 communities in these techniques.


Declaring, verifying and certifying ODF villages has been a challenge, due to planning and budgeting constraints as well as a  a highly complex and costly ODF certification process. UMATA is working with government partners and sector stakeholders to share experiences and ensure that the certification process is appropriate, with revisions proposed to make the process more efficient in 2017.

Slippage has been observed in some ODF villages, mainly attributable to heavy rains and the complexities of behaviour change. Institutional Triggering, post triggering follow-up, training in sustainable building techniques, and support to local artisans and CLTS commitees have all helped address this issue.

To address the low prioritization of sanitation by some local leaders, the programme used Institutional Triggering and mobilized action from senior district officials. In addition, unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene in non-programme communities affected three neighbouring programme communities, causing cholera outbreaks. UMATA worked with district leaders to support the affected communities. Preventative measures going forward will include facilitating inter-community learning visits, and triggering strategic villages that can effectively influence their neighbours to change behaviours.

Learning and innovation

In 2016, learning was promoted through exchanges with sector partners, other GSF-supported programmes and capacity building workshops for programme stakeholders, leading to the adoption of innovative approaches.

Learning generated from other GSF-supported programmes on Institutional Triggering and the Follow-up MANDONA approach to strengthen post-triggering follow up, helped accelerate results and promoting sustainability. In Itiso Ward for example, triggered leaders drove the construction and rehabilitation of 900 latrines in a one-month period.

In addition, implementing partners helped mobilize the construction of more resilient infrastructure. After latrines collapsed due to heavy rains in Bahi District, communities changed the shape of the pits from square to round, incorporated pit lining techniques using local materials, and fortified their roofs to prevent latrines from collapsing.

Implementing partners also learned from and collaborated with each other, including two organizations who held a learning event for microfinance groups, to exchange best practices and address challenges related to WASH microfinancing.

Looking ahead

Increased momentum and accelerated results are expected in 2017, given the active involvement of local actors in the sanitation movement, established approaches and continuous learning. The programme will also roll out a sustainability strategy, to build local capacities in monitoring and reporting and support districts to develop sanitation roadmaps.

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