Sanitation spending in Tanzania

Tanzania, like a number of countries in Africa, is off-track for meeting their MDG targets for sanitation. The 2013 Joint Monitoring Programme Report has estimated that only 12% of the population has access to improved sanitation in 2011, far off from the 53% target set for 2015. The percentage of the 2010 population that has gained access to improved sanitation since 1990 is significantly less, at 5%, than the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 12%. It is clear that something needs to be done to speed up process with one key element of increasing access to sanitation being adequate financing.

Finding up-to-date budget documents in Tanzania is refreshingly simple. All one has to do is go to the website for the Parliament of United Republic of Tanzania, go to the budget tab and then:

  1. Budget Speeches
  2. Ministerial Budgets
  3. Regional Budgets (link appears broken)
  4. Budget Speeches Archive

When I arrived on the Ministerial Budget page, I had to figure out which minister was responsible for sanitation. My initial enthusiasm at the ease of finding budgets quickly dwindled as I released that one issue with sanitation in Tanzania is that “responsibility for sanitation lies with the MoHSW (MInistry of Health and Social Welfare) but donor finance is often provided alongside funds for water supply through the MoWI (Ministry of Water and Irrigation)”. As with so many other countries, the sanitation sector is complicated because it falls under the jurisdiction of so many different Ministries. Sanitation is simultaneously everyone’s and no one’s problem. However, this is only really an issue if budget lines are unclear, as long as there are budget lines for sanitation within the different ministries then there is not problem.

WASHwatch scores Tanzania with a 1 for having a budget line for sanitation and hygiene through the Ministry of Social Welfare. This is based on feedback from Government and CSO representatives as part of the Africasan preparatory process attesting to the allocation of sanitation financing in a specific budget line. However, looking at the budgets for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, neither appears to have a budget line for sanitation. The lack of clarity over a separate budget line for sanitation is reinforced by WaterAid and WSP, with Wateraid highlighting that there is “still no specific line at either central or local government level”, begging the question of the extent to which funding is being specifically directed at sanitation within the appropriate budgets.

A closer look at budget allocation continues to paint a worrying picture. The website for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has an Environmental Health and Sanitation section, which explains that hygiene and sanitation fall under the responsibility of the preventive services division and that division reported actual expenditure of 21,759,558,771 TZs in 2010/11, approved expenditure of  23,180,715,300 TZs for 2011/12 and estimated expenditure of  17,356,672,000 TZs in 2012/13. No more detail was given but this is worrying in and of itself because 23 billion TZs (the 2011/12 approved spending) is the apparently the budget for the entire division and is only .06% of GDP. The Environmental Health and Sanitation section provides limited information about the National Sanitation and Hygiene Campaign but the page links are no longer functioning.

A WSP study reported that in 2010 budget allocation for sanitation was as follows:

  • $4.3 million USD – national level annual budget allocation for sanitation
  • $32,000 per district – district level annual sanitation budget
  • $83,000 per district –  Total Sanitation and Sanitation Marketing (TSSM) – donor funded

This gives a grand total of .099% of GDP, still significantly shy of the 0.5% of GDP target and that figure includes a significant amount of donor funding. Other reports from Wateraid and WSP confirm that Tanzania is currently spending less than 0.1% of GDP on sanitation. This is also in line with the current WASHwatch score of zero for sanitation financing in Tanzania.

Based on the above it seems evident that more needs to be done by the Government of Tanzania to increase sanitation spending to meet the 0.5% of GDP. This is arguably more likely to be achieved through a clearly defined budget line for sanitation spending, which if already in existence needs to be clear and monitorable in ministry budgets, with accessible data on allocation and spending.

– Natasha & Katelyn


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