Promoting Behaviour Change Approaches to Boost Tanzania's National Sanitation Campaign


In Tanzania, the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)-supported UMATA programme is engaging with partners at the national level to champion the role of behaviour change approaches for the country’s sanitation strategy. This includes using the programme’s results for evidence-based advocacy.

Key WASH stakeholders, including Ummy Mwalimu, Tanzania’s Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (centre) and Nyanzobe Malimi, Programme Director for UMATA (second from the right), commit to championing the National Sanitation Campaign with the slogan ‘Nipo Tayari’ (‘I am ready’). Credit: Plan International Tanzania

At an event on 9 May, UMATA highlighted its achievements and helped launch Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) activities under Tanzania’s National Sanitation Campaign.

With a focus on BCC, the event gathered key government leaders and a range of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) stakeholders to discuss key sanitation and hygiene issues, including:

  • How to ensure a harmonized approach under the National Sanitation Campaign
  • Sector financing and leveraging of resources
  • Sanitation and hygiene milestones to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The event was a soft launch for BCC under the second phase of the National Sanitation Campaign (2016-2020). Organized by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, it was held in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the CLEAR Consortium.

Ummy Mwalimu, Tanzania’s Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, participated as the guest of honour. Programme Director, Nyanzobe Malimi, led the UMATA delegation, and WSSCC National Coordinator, Wilhelmina Malima, also participated.

UMATA and WSSCC representatives presented how BCC, Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), capacity building, learning and innovation have supported significant progress.

One key achievement has been to significantly increase the number of communities achieving ODF status from four in December 2015 to 41 in 2016, covering 197,250 people. Read more about Tanzania’s results in the latest GSF Progress Report. As of March 2017, UMATA reported 53 ODF communities, and has latrine coverage at 88 percent of its target.

Achieving ODF communities was a key challenge in the first few years of the programme, due to a long start-up period, institutional challenges 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 sanitation programme, increased support from the Government, clear roles and responsibilities for key government actors at all levels, and a refined CLTS approach.

Other achievements highlighted at the event include supporting the formation of 144 school health clubs and 426 microfinance groups, and training 133 entrepreneurs, 868 corporations and artisans, and 2,316 data collectors.

“I congratulate UMATA for this achievement and I pledge support towards total behavioural change in Dodoma districts of Bahi, Chamwino and Kongwa,” said Minister Mwalimu during her speech. The Minister also committed to increase the number of health officers at the community level, explore funding for WASH in schools, and include sanitation policy issues in national health policy.

The official BCC launch for the National Sanitation Campaign is planned for World Toilet Day in November, with the President of Tanzania set to attend.