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Improving pro-poor water services in Tanzania; Connecting the Disconnected

21 April 2021

The city of Morogoro is growing rapidly. To adequately serve all inhabitants, drinking water production must be increased, the water supply network must be expanded and management of sanitation, wastewater collection and treatment needs to be improved. To improve the drinking water supply and sanitation services for the people of Morogoro, World Waternet and Morogoro Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (MORUWASA) in Tanzania collaborate in a WaterWorX partnership.

The WaterWorX programme is a public-private collaboration (2017-2030) with the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 Dutch water companies and their local partner companies, with the aim to provide clean, safe and affordable drinking water to 10 million people worldwide.

Water supply network extension

One of the partnership activities with MORUWASA is to extend the water supply through the use of independent waterkiosks. Due to the current financing gap for operation & maintenance, many kiosks ran out of order. This will be overcome by installing pre-paid token systems. This approach is fully in line with the increasing popularity of pre-paid water kiosk in Eastern Africa and the World Bank's programme on ‘Financing Sustainability’; the future of pro-poor rural water systems as an endeavour to serve the unserved. This programme targets peri-urban and rural low-income communities that often lack access to a formalised piped distribution network and are therefore relying on private vendors or contaminated sources, impeding their opportunities.


In Morogoro, only 50% of the population is connected to the main water distribution network. To connect the disconnected, extra finances are needed to fund this capacity expansion and to operate and maintain the entire served area. To expand its service area, MORUWASA has more than 175 waterkiosks. Over time, operation & maintenance strategies have not succeeded in keeping all the kiosks running. The main reason is that they cannot be maintained sustainably due to insufficient revenues reaching MORUWASA.

Therefore, this WaterWorX programme activity aims to rehabilite 10 waterkiosks with new prepaid token payment systems and install two new solar-powered waterkiosks. The intended strategy is to serve the unconnected while generating revenue to increase income for further scale-up and to ensure maintenance and sustainable operation of these communal waterkiosks.This waterkiosk programme is rolled-out with two Dutch private partners; the water treatment company Villagepump® and prepaid water ATM company Susteq®.

April 2021, The solar-powered waterkiosk are ready for shipment to Tanzania. The kiosk consists of three Villagepump 500E and three integrated SusteQ payment units. With a capacity up to 1500 liters clean water per hour, one kiosk can service 1000-2000 people per day. Developed by VillagePump, in partnership with SusteQ, World Waternet and MORUWASA.

For the solar-powered, off-grid waterkiosks, Dutch engineering skills were used to enhance, scale and innovate the common Villagepump500 into triple the capacity, with the brandnew token payment system from SusteQ: the 'Villagepump Waterkiosk' was created. The integrated payment system enables token payments to let water users fill their jerrycans on demand. The kiosk uses mature ultrafiltration membrane technology, it guarantees reliability, endurance and low maintenance efforts to produce high quality, pathogen free drinking water.

Prepaid token payment system

With this reliable payment system, the kiosks can be financially operated in the long run. Therefore, another 10 existing non-operating kiosks are rehabilitated and renovated with the prepaid token system. This will enable further cost recovery and subsequent potential for further scale-up in MORUWASA's service area.

Customers receive a token which they can use for buying water credits at the MORUWASA's water billing counter. This means customers pay for water in advance, which goes directly to MORUWASA, who can use these funds to operate & maintain the kiosks. In this way, the kiosks can be operated sustainably and more people get access to affordable, clean and safe drinking water.

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World Waternet, together with Susteq and Villagepump, supports MORUWASA with the rehabilitation of 10 water kiosks and the implementation of the prepayment systems. MORUWASA staff is trained and the local population is informed through awareness campaigns and collaborations with local NGOs and universities. By doing so full ownership at Moruwasa and the community will be ensured next to proper operation & maintenance and of course cost recovery.


In the coming period the kiosks will be deployed and rehabilited in Morogoro (expected to be completed in September 2021). World Waternet, together with SusteQ and Villagepump, supports MORUWASA with the rehabilitation and the implementation. In practice this means field surveys, baseline inventories, setting up local awareness campaigns and digital training on topics such as planning, operation & maintenance, preparatory civil works, awareness campaigns.

MORUWASA staff is trained to ensure full ownership, create community ownership and proper operation and maintenance duties and cost recovery. In addition, the local population is informed through awareness campaigns and collaborations with local NGOs and universities.