Facing violent political unrest and economic decline, hundreds of thousands of Burundians have fled to Tanzania, a neighboring country in East Africa. The recent influx of refugees has overwhelmed the area’s already insufficient resources.
An unfortunate consequence of Tanzania’s support of refugees has been animosity from nearby indigenous communities. While life in the camps is difficult, refugees are provided basic access to shelter, water, food, medicine, and education. Tanzanians residing nearby are often living in worse conditions than the refugees. Additionally, the cost of living for locals has increased as aid organizations consume significant quantities of staple products, driving prices up for items like rice and beans. Scarcity of resources has forced competition, and when people are battling to keep their families alive, resentment grows.
Yet the light of the Lord is shining in this dark place. As He works through Water Mission’s efforts, it is clear that safe water does so much more than quench thirst.
We started delivering safe water in Tanzania’s refugee settlements in 2015. As we’ve expanded these solutions in partnership with the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, we’ve learned that the technical requirements of serving densely-populated settlements are vastly different than those of the small communities where we predominantly work.
Friends like you have enabled us to effectively scale up our technology, installing high-capacity equipment that provides nearly 20 times as much water as our typical systems. Currently, we are implementing solutions that will raise the total number of refugees we’re serving in Tanzania to roughly 313,000.
We have accomplished these things while not forgetting the neighboring communities that are often overlooked.
Recently, our team installed a safe water system in Zeze, a community close to the refugee settlements. This project was made possible by the Poul Due Jensen Foundation and Mr. Niels Due Jensen, who donated funds in celebration of his 75th birthday and in honor of the end of his 40-year tenure as chair of the Foundation. During the installation, the community’s enthusiasm for the project was visible as adults dug trenches in the hot sun while children, eager to contribute, lugged rocks to the project site. Today, safe water is flowing for the 5,500 people of Zeze. Community members no longer watch with sadness as water trucks drive past their homes to refugee settlements.
Empowering both refugees and local residents, Water Mission is providing solutions that are helping to restore harmony among hurting, divided people groups in Tanzania.
SUPPORT OUR WORK in refugee settlements around the world.