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Daraja: Raising the water pressure

Daraja is Swahili for bridge, which reflects this partner organization’s approach to bring citizens and local government in rural Tanzania closer to each other in order to improve service delivery.

Daraja is a Tanzanian not-for-profit company, based in Njombe that develops tools and encourages citizens to report waterpoint functionality in their areas. The information from citizens (via SMS or other mobile telephony) goes to a database that has water point mapping information of the area. Twaweza is providing support to Daraja to a) share information about water point functionality with the public in accessible formats, primarily through the media and b) enable citizens to update functionality information in real time via SMS, and c) analyze and publicize responsiveness of government to citizen notification

In 2010 Daraja worked towards at developing and testing its innovative model with support from Twaweza. The project was piloted in three districts in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. If all goes well, the project will go nationwide in the second half of 2011.

Meetings with key officials in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and at district levels have taken place, as well as with local media in the three pilot districts. Publications have been developed and are ready for printing and distributions, once the programme rolls out. A short-code that will be used to receive SMS feedback from citizens has been purchased from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority. Daraja also started a local newspaper and a football team and is blogging regularly on issues related to water, health, education and citizen agency in rural Tanzania. Its initiative to “raise the water pressure” will be called Maji Matone (water drops).

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Read more: Daraja partnerships Tanzania water

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