Prepaid for Sustainability – Innovative Prepaid Solutions for Sustainable Water Services in Ukenyenge village Kishapu District, Tanzania

The innovation of the project lies within two interlinked elements: (1) the business concept, and (2) the prepaid payment system.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Thubutu Africa Initiative(TAI)

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 10,000 - 50,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Tanzania

Headquarters location: City

Tanzania: Shinyanga

Location(s) of impact

Tanzania, Shinyanga, Kishapu District, Ukenyenge village with a population of approximately 9000 people in a village with limited to water facilities


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

“Revenue collection is the biggest problem in Tanzania, preventing the realization of sustainable water supplies.” A concrete example is the case of Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (DAWASCO) where non-revenue water is 55.5%. So far, none of the water utilities in Tanzania has been able to reduce non-revenue water to the recommended limit of 20%(source: EWURA, Water Utilities Performance Report 2012/2013). TAI will be addressing a problem of lack of access of water due to poor revenue collection system.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The project entails at a complete water delivery solution concept – from source, through delivery with a prepaid meter system, to (social) marketing and maintenance. Besides creating access to safe water, the project will also serve as a viable and scalable business model that will set the stage for a new way of sustainable rural and peri-urban water supply and services. Our business concept must lead to ongoing access to water. If people prepay for water, it becomes viable to sustain services and therefore sustain access to water. Especially if one dedicated service company (Water TAI) firstly is in charge of coordinating the implementation or rehabilitation of water hardware and of awareness rising / marketing, and subsequently organizes and monitors maintenance. Water consumption and revenue collection will be monitored online. This will ensure the accountability of water consumers and TAI staff. This is the shared value we want to bring in this project.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Women and girls are the main beneficiaries, as they are often fetching water in their households. In the pilot water project in Maganzo village (30km from Ukenyenge), due to access of water close to their home have contributed about 5% of girls retention in school. It has reduced school drop out and has reduced time spending by women to fetch water. Early marriages of under 18 girls in Shinyanga region have reduced from 59% in 2015 to 34% in 2017. This have been contributed by a collective approach of reducing all factors leading to child marriages including access to water. Kishapu district has high infant and under-five mortality rates of 104 and 172 respectively, compared to the national rate of 98 and 112. As women get better access to safe and clean water for domestic and gardening activities, children under five will benefit from this whereby mothers with under 5 years children will be able to to offer safe water and have more time available for growing vegetables at their home

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

The sustainability of this project will be based on revenue collection from water sales. The revenue is approximated to be 90%. This means the operations of the project plus renovation and scale up to new areas will all depend on the sales. Since the project is innovative with online control and monitoring systems and since it is a prepaid business model, our expectation of sustainability will be reached: By buying prepaid water, the profit goes to maintenance and is insurance for repairs and replacement at end of lifetime. Also local shop keepers will increase their income as they get a commission for water credit sales. TAI will make a contribution of 10% for running the project where we will provide transport facility for project team.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

The Government of Tanzania is making her level best to bring water close to her citizens. However even in the area where there is water access, the management of water facilities has been traditional leading to loss of water, unpaid water and fund mismanagement. TAI will complement the effort of bringing water. But different from the Government and other actors, TAI will provide an innovative prepaid solution and this is our unique value which will ensure water access sustainability.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Water is life Life is expensive Therefore: Water is expensive! "If you bring water in our community you will be the second from God" -Liberatus. Liberatus is a Ward Executive Officer in Ukenyenge village. This is his statement which shows the worthiness of someone who would date to bring water in this community. The expensive he talks is not about water costing but water value. For the last 20 years the people of Ukenyenge have been depending seasonal river flows to access water. The same rivers have been serving animals. During the dry season people have been depending on small wells that are dug in the middle of the river. At night wild animals also share the same water. Where is the dignity of the human being? This is what made the Aha! moment of TAI and decided to share this story with other people who would be willing to share their value to people in Ukenyenge.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Participated in previous CSV Prize competitions
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Attachments (2)

water pictures.doc

Women fetching water to a prepaid water system in Maganzo village. The project is operational and it has helped to reduce the time spent by women, family relationship has improved and has reduced financial expenditures due to water availability in the proximity.

Construction of prepaid water project in Maganzo village.doc

This is a running project in Maganzo village, where prepaid water system for sustainability is working perfectly.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Bryan Raveen Nelson

Dear Jonathan,

I just went through your application and really liked your idea. Your project is a needed initiative for vulnerable communities. The idea in this project is very original and your effort is very genuine. Keep up the good work.

May I request some of your time to also evaluate the initiative constructed by our team because it lies in page three and up to now poor attention was received. To find the application, you will have to Select ‘‘PHASE> Prize entry’’. On the right section of page, under the heading ‘‘FOCUS AREAS’’ click on "WATER". Go to Page 3> Click "Evaluate" on application titled "Turning the tables for Temiar tribe of Malaysia". I would also appreciate if you either applaud us or leave a comment on our page if you deem us worthy.

Thank you very much.

Photo of Jonathan

Hi Bryan,
Thanks you very much for sharing this message. It have given us more energy to amplify the change for people in rural areas.
I will share on your project as asked.
Best regards

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