Our work

Excellent water provision for communities in Tanzania

The Networking WASH project (Nwash) introduces the concept of an independent mini-network operator which will provide 230,000 people with safe water within the coming five years. Role for TNO is to develop an appropriate technology to remove fluoride in order to create access to healthy and affordable drinking water.

Private water operator

In the Mara Region of Tanzania village water schemes are not or barely delivering effective services. This is problematic for the local households who are dependent on safe water for drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning. The Networking WASH project (Nwash) introduces the concept of an independent mini-network operator which will provide 230,000 people with safe water within the coming five years. Recent reforms created the policy opportunity for separating water delivery from water consumption. The Nwash project benefits from this opportunity by starting a social business for delivery of water services, an independent mini-network operator: ‘Bomba Maji’. Bomba is Swahili for both ‘water pipe’ as ‘excellent’, which makes it a very suitable name for this company. Bomba will establish a mini-network operator and in the initial phase of the ‘business’ Bomba aims to:

  • Provide 30,000 people in 40 villages with water on a sustainable basis before mid 2016 and
  • Provide an additional 200,000 people with water on a sustainable basis in the period 2016-2018
  • Moreover a low-cost small-scale fluoride treatment technology will be developed and made ready for the market, under the lead of TNO in cooperation with Dutch companies I3 and AAWS. 5,000 people will be provided with treated water, reducing fluoride levels from ‘dangerous’ to ‘safe’ (based on WHO standards).

Public Private partnership

The Nwash project is started up by a consortium of seven partners. Besides our lead applicant SNV, the Dutch actors are the water operator Dunea, research organisation TNO, social enterprise BopInc and water companies I3 and AAWS. The two Tanzanian actors in our PPP are the public water operator Muwasa and the regional secretariat of Mara Region. Before the establishment of Nwash, SNV and Dunea were already actively involved in the Mara Region and the Tanzanian water sector. They found major challenges in the sector, due to a lack of functionality of rural water facilities and high levels of fluoride in the water. There is a true added value of the hybrid partnership between local companies, DUNEA as strong water operator from the Netherlands, SNV for ensuring institutional readiness, BoP Innovation Center as the strategy and business developer and TNO as technology partner for fluoride purification.

State of Affairs

The new private entity Bomba was formally established in 2014. Bomba works with community owned water supply organizations (COWSOs). COWSOs are legal entities at the community level who are entitled to make contracts with the private sector on behalf of the community. Several contracts are signed now, so customers can be served. Bomba is currently rehabilitating the water schemes in 3 villages in the Mara region, which will be finalized end 2015. In the meantime TNO did a survey considering existing and new technologies that fits this context. Reversed osmosis and Solar Membrane Distillation (Solar MD) are selected as most promising technologies. TNO and I3 are currently designing and testing the innovative  SolarMD in the Netherlands and three devices will be tested in March in Tanzania.

Watch this movie for more information about the NWASH project RVO

Drs. Mathilde Miedema

  • Developing countries
  • Development Cooperation
  • Africa
  • Bangladesh
  • Inclusive Business


Stay up to date with our latest news, activities and vacancies

TNO.nl collects and processes data in accordance with the applicable privacy regulations for an optimal user experience and marketing practices.
This data can easily be removed from your temporary profile page at any time.
You can also view our privacy statement or cookie statement.