According to Dr. Josephine at Katoro Health Center, approximately 52% of the patients are affected by the lack of a clean water source. The reason for this is that it is too far (over 50km) for the people to access clean water. Therefore, with their own hands, they dig in the ground until they reach water. This hand-dug well is not protective of other environmental sources from entering. For example, the water will become contaminated with human and animal feces. Also, during the rainy season water flows from rivers and roads, carrying even more contaminated water. The people are dependent upon this water as the source of drinking, cooking, bathing, and hand washing their clothes. Dr. Josephina stated that she treats people for skin rashes, E.coli, salmonella, typhoid fever, cholera, and diarrhea.
Most of the people live in primitive type style homes. The homes may have electricity, but the government will shut off the electricity for periods of undetermined time without notification. It is typical for the kitchen to be located outside of the “living” area of the home. A typical kitchen would consist of a small wooden frame-covered area. Inside this “kitchen” they build a circular area surrounded by stones, with coals in the center to build a fire for boiling water and cooking. Many of the people are involved in small-scale agricultural activities such as growing corn, beans, and other food to sell to local residents and to people passing through the area. Thus, their income levels are very low and subject to weather conditions, water sources, and other outside conditions.
Unfortunately, there are not sufficient records for the exact number of fatalities, but it is certain that not all of the people survive the diseases inflicted from dirty water sources. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) diarrhea due to contaminated water is the 4th leading cause of death in Tanzania. Women and girls are the primary collectors of water, therefore are disproportionately affected by the lack of clean water.