Social infrastructure: Maji ni Uhai

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26 of November of 2013

European Commission honered the project Maji ni Uhai (Water is Life) that we developed in Tanzania, with the European Business Award for the Environment 2010 in the International Cooperation Category.


Maji ni Uhai, “Water is life”

Beneficiary: Amref Flying Doctors.
Scope of action: International Cooperation.
Location: Tanzania. Región de Mara. Distrito de Serengeti. 5 wards: Kyambahi, Nata, Isenye, Rin´wani and Kebanchebancha.
Beneficiaries: 5100 people.
Period: 2008-2011.
Budget: 1,800,000 €.


Maji ni Uhai (meaning water is life) is the result of a joint venture between a business entity, Ferrovial, and an NGO, Amref, designed to combat poverty: a cooperation project which will provide drinking water and sanitary infrastructures to 51,000 people in Tanzania. The project, which will benefit five communities in the Serengeti District, will be developed over three years with a budget of 1.8 million euros.

The company is committed to 100% of the funding, along with providing the technological basis of the project, and volunteers to carry out technical studies and oversee the works, as well as transferring their know-how to local communities. In turn, Amref undertakes to provide logistics services for the direction execution of the project in the field.

In undertaking this project, Ferrovial aims to become an active member in striving to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and in particular, to become a benchmark organization in the attainment of Goal 8 “Promote a global partnership for development”. This form of collaboration is unusual in that it is genuinely innovative in terms of international cooperation, as it is based on a public-private partnership between a company, an NGO and Regional governments in the area of activity.

One of the key aspects of the project is the construction, protection and rehabilitation of 557 health facilities and water catchment and supply though deep wells, filter rings, gravity systems and latrines in schools and clinics.

In addition, local technicians are being trained in maintenance of these new infrastructures and a campaign has been launched to heighten awareness of good hygiene habits involving local leaders and communities. To achieve this, the Project promotes an effective community organization through the creation of Water Users Associations and Health Clubs, in which women (the most vulnerable in this area) always play a leading role. Other activities were also carried out focusing on Institutional Capacity Buildings for those institutions involved in project implementation, including the District Water Department and the District Health Department.

Good hygiene will help control and reduce water-borne diseases. Moreover, the burden of the female population will be reduced, no longer being required to source and carry water home and girls will have more opportunities to go to school. In recognition of its innovative character, the Maji ni Uhai project won the European Business Award for the Environment 2010 in the International Cooperation Category granted by the Environment European Commission. It also received a special jury mention in the World Business and Development Awards 2010 organized by the Cámara Internacional de Comercio (International Chamber of Commerce).

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