Guest announcement by Rebecca Gianotti, Ph.D., Consultant, Global Water Initiative, The Ohio State University
A new initiative at the Ohio State University that takes a systems approach to rural water development is launching pilot projects in Tanzania. Dubbed Wells to Wellness, the effort combines capacity building and tiered water point rehabilitation activities to provide scalable, sustainable systems solutions to water resource issues. In April, the university signed a letter of intent with the University of Dodoma in Tanzania to develop undergraduate programming that will strengthen the workforce in the entrepreneurial sectors surrounding water (food, energy, health, sanitation). The partnership between the two universities follows the announcement of a 55-MW solar array—the largest ever at a university—to be built by U.S.-based Hecate Energy at Dodoma in 2016. The new training and academic programs at the University of Dodoma will support both the budding renewable energy sector in rural Tanzania as well as a water point rehabilitation project also under Wells to Wellness. This effort will initially retrofit 125 inoperable wells as well as support health, sanitation and economic development with a systems approach incorporating a new franchising model for operations and maintenance as well as key collaborations with existing NGOs in Tanzania. Upon successful completion of the 125-well pilot, the Tanzanian government has provisionally committed to funding rehabilitation of thousands of additional wells by scaling up the model.
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