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Tanzania Tackles Biggest Challenge of Safe Water With More Funds

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said he has placed sharper focus on expanding access to clean-water supplies in order to address one of biggest challenges facing his government.

“This is a sector we have resolved to give special attention this year and in the coming two years,” Kikwete said in a speech e-mailed on Jan. 11. “We will take deliberate preferential action in budgetary resource allocations to benefit this sector.”

About 43 percent of Tanzanians in rural areas and 19 percent in towns and cities don’t have access to reliable, safe water sources, Kikwete said. “Providing clean water to the people of Tanzania close to their homesteads remains to be one of the biggest challenges facing our government,” he said.

About 12 percent of deaths in Tanzania, which has East Africa’s biggest economy after Kenya, were related to water, sanitation and hygiene in 2004, according to UN Water, the United Nations’ coordination mechanism for water-related issues, which cited World Health Organization data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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