Istituto Oikos

Location: Tanzania

Istituto Oikos (“Oikos”) is a non-profit organisation that operates in Europe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Myanmar and Lebanon to safeguard biodiversity and to promote the widespread adoption of more sustainable lifestyles. Oikos has a vision for a future in which ecology, economy and equity come together to reconcile the needs of people and planet. Their Mission is to contribute to preserving ecosystems and supporting development through professionalism, innovation and participation.

In November 2019, Oikos began a three-year project to strengthen the WASH services in the Region of Manyara, Tanzania. The intervention aimed to guarantee and increase the equitable access and economically sustainable rural water schemes in rural villages across the Districts of Kiteto and Simanjiro. NextEnergy Foundation has replaced two diesel water pumps with solar-powered water pumps (“SPWPs”) in the rural villages of Ilkishbour and Ndedo in the Kiteto District.

Project Completion February 2022: The project is now complete and both solar-powered water pumps are fully operational. In the Ndedo Village, almost 3,300 inhabitants are benefiting from the clean water. At the start of the project there were three boreholes in this village, only one of which was operational and from which the entire village depended for domestic and livestock demands. In the village of Irkiushioibor, there are over 5,900 beneficiaries who previously all depended upon a diesel-powered water generator which was not only very polluting, but also subject to frequent malfunctions. During the dry seasons, inhabitants from both villages were forced to walk many kilometres to collect water from unsafe sources.

In order to guarantee the full participation of the village community members with the project, local partners were involved in the construction of the hydraulic systems and installation of the solar-powered pumps. These partners collaborated with the communities to address their priorities from the project; provided them with technical training; and engaged and supported them to develop participatory management procedures for the appropriate maintenance of the water systems. All the actions were carried out to ensure equity in the water distribution and to avoid social marginalisation in access to the water, especially for women. The local partners will continue to support the village inhabitants in the operation and maintenance of the systems in the long-term.

First Annual Update January 2023: Oikos recently submitted the first of three annual reports tracking the long-term impacts of the two SPWPs.

Between January and December 2022, Oikos field staff visited the two villages on a regular basis to assist in the creation of the Community Based Water Supply Organisations (“CBWSOs”). This was conducted in close collaboration with the Tanzanian Government’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (“RUWASA”). Oikos also gathered data and compared it with data gathered pre-intervention to determine that the socio-economic impacts of the project are materialising across four dimensions:

  1. Reduced distance between the water distribution points and the major centres of aggregation of the population – this has been particularly positive for women who are now devoting the time they used to spend fetching water to other activities;
  2. Significant savings in water system operating costs – compared to the costs to run the previous diesel systems, each CBWSO saves USD 400-500 per month;
  3. Increased water quantity and improved quality – since April 2022 (when both systems were fully operational), over 13,000m3 potable water have been pumped and 100% of the water is potable;
  4. Heightened sense of responsibility for the two SPWPs on the part of the CBWSOs.

In addition, Oikos recently signed an agreement with RUWASA and Carbon Sink Group, an Italian carbon project developer, to accredit the two SPWPs with the Gold Standard and issue carbon credits which will be sold on the voluntary carbon market. The credits are generated by calculating the emissions avoided by each family accessing solar-pumped water instead of using diesel to generate potable water. Carbon Sink will sell the credits and the profits will be reinvested across the CBWSOs – under RUWASA’s supervision – to operate and monitor the SPWPs and to extend water access to neighbouring areas. The long-term aim is to extend this collaboration between RUWASA and Carbon Sink to all SPWPs developed by Oikos in Tanzania, including the three additional pumps financed by NextEnergy Foundation in 2022.

Location: Tanzania

In 2020, NextEnergy Foundation began a partnership with Istituto Oikos (“Oikos”); together, we replaced two diesel water pumps with solar-powered water pumps in the rural villages of Ilkishbour and Ndedo, Kiteto District, Tanzania.

Following the success of this work, NextEnergy Foundation is supporting the development of another four solar-powered water pumps in the Kiteto and Simanjiro Districts of Tanzania: 2 in the rural village of Makame and one each in the rural villages of Ngabolo and Kimotorok. The villages were identified by Oikos because none of them previously had access to potable water – inhabitants walked up to 20km to access water which was often contaminated – and local communities identified this as a priority area.

This intervention will extend the aim to provide equitable and environmentally and economically sustainable water access to a further 15,250 rural inhabitants. This includes almost 2,000 children as well as the patients of the local medical clinics for whom good hygiene practices facilitated by clean water access are fundamental.

Most of the village inhabitants are agro-pastoralist. In Makame and Ngabolo, boreholes are being drilled to access the underlying aquifer. Instead, the hydrological studies undertaken by Oikos in Kimotorok found there is no aquifer which can guarantee acceptable water quantities and qualities for drinking use. As such, a protected well is being constructed to access water from the free surface aquifer that feeds the surrounding swamp and at the same time acts as a protected deposit.

All project interventions have been undertaken in consultation and collaboration with the village communities. The technical designs for the pumps were approved by the local communities and they are participating in the excavation works. In addition, a Community-Based Water Supply Organisation has been established in each village; they will be trained by locally-based Oikos staff and will be responsible for the technical and financial management of the solar-powered water pumps once operational. Oikos and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency will follow-up periodically and provide any additional training as necessary to guarantee the proper management of the pumps in the long-term.

The next project update will be shared following the project completion (est. December 2022).