This summary presents the key findings of research commissioned by HDIF, in partnership with DFID, to look into these prepaid water systems and analyse their effectiveness to date. The overall question for this study was: To what extent do the prepaid water systems contribute to the sustainable delivery of inclusive and safe water services in rural Tanzania?

The study explored the operational sustainability of the selected prepaid water meters, the use of prepaid water meters by different population groups, the challenges of rural water supply, and which of these challenges are being addressed by current prepaid water systems. Moreover, the study unpacked the overall contribution of the prepaid water systems in improving the sustainability of rural water supply in Tanzania. The study’s objectives were to:

  • Explain the types of prepaid water systems being piloted through  situation analysis, using secondary literature and key informant interviews.
  • Describe the technologies currently being used to deliver prepaid water systems in terms of both their similarities and differences.
  • Review and explain the type of management and business models attached to the existing prepaid water systems, especially the relationship between the COWSO, village committees, and district-level water office.
  • Summarise the typologies, strengths, and weaknesses of the prepaid water systems currently operational in Tanzania
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