What is Chamavita?

Chamavita is a Tanzanian non-governmental organisation (NGO) established in 1995. The foundation is registered under Tanzanian law and recognised as a non-profit foundation by the Tanzanian government. Chamavita is an acronym of ‘Chama cha Maendeleo Vijijini Tanga’ which means in the Swahili language: ‘Foundation for Rural Development in the Tanga Region’. Chamavita focuses on sustainable development for the people in the rural mountainous regions (Usambara mountains) of the Tanga province in Northeast Tanzania. Chamavita´s core activity is supporting villages with the improvement of their drinking water supply. While Chamavita focuses on constructing supply systems, the users themselves take care of the operation and maintenance of the drinking-water systems. For this purpose the elected village water committee (presently named: CBWSO= Community based water supply organization) and two village technicians are trained during the implementation phase. For more details see “How Chamavita works”.

What is SPOT Tanzania (SPOTT)

SPOTT is a Dutch foundation that collects funding and promotes the activities of her Tanzanian counterpart organization Chamavita. SPOTT is the acronym of “Stichting Plattelands Ontwikkeling Tanga Tanzania”, which is the Dutch translation of “Foundation for Rural development in Tanga region”. SPOTT was founded in July 2010. The partnership with Chamavita was first established by the Dutch couple that had worked in the field of Water Supply in Usambara mountains from 1986 till 1995. Since her start in 2010, SPOTT has succeeded to secure funds for the work of Chamavita from private donors (churches, schools, service clubs, charities) and Dutch development partners such as Wild Geese, ICCO, Cordaid, Aqua for All, Simavi. Presently this support amounts to about 50,000 € per year. For details see “Survey of projects”

Chamavita’s mission and vision

Chamavita stimulates the socio-economic development of the rural areas in the Eastern and Western Usambara Mountains, with special attention to the emancipation of women and protection of the environment. Chamavita democratizes decision-making processes and empowers people to actively develop their lives. She does this through: Extending and improving drinking water supply. If possible and necessary also latrines (dry toilets) and hygiene awareness are improved; Advising about environmental measures at village level, e.g. about sustainable energy and the prevention of and monitoring of soil erosion; Giving support to individuals and groups who want to start small projects aiming at improving their living standard.

How Chamavita works

Chamavita starts a new project only on request and only if there is sufficient support among the villagers. In most cases the village council or another group of active people from the village has heard about Chamavita or has seen results in neighbouring villages. Chamavita puts requirements to her assistance. One of them is that the village community is prepared to contribute (mostly in kind) 10 to 15% of the total project budget. In addition, the village has to pay for the surveying work required for the system design. Once a village meets the requirements Chamavita starts to work on a project proposal and its funding. Before the start of the implementation every village selects two villagers who will work alongside with the professional technicians during the construction of the system. Thus, these people are trained on the spot in order to become the village technicians for maintenance after completion of the project.
After realization of new infrastructure the local village water committee (later called: Water Users Association, then: Community-Owned Water Supply Organisation, and presently: Community-Based Water Supply Organization) is responsible for the management of this infrastructure. During the construction phase they receive training in organization, finance and bookkeeping. Chamavita remains always near to give a helping hand. All drinking-water systems in the Usambara mountains are gravity systems. The water is taken from high mountain springs and led through pipes to the villages. In the villages a part of the houses has private connections, other people use public distribution points. The target is to provide all villagers with at least 15 liter of water per day. Chamavita supports the local water organization to establish the proper collection of water fees from users according to Tanzanian regulations. Chamavita has during recent years been very active in establishing forms of cooperation between villages for improving operation and maintenance of water infrastructure.

[Working as a community on a new water supply system]

Chamavita as an organisation

Chamavita is a foundation counting twelve members, knowledgeable in the field of drinking-water engineering, sanitation, community development, agriculture, environmental management and financial management. The members live in Lushoto or Tanga and work with government agencies or companies or as an independent consultant. They work for Chamavita as volunteers in their free time. The full-time paid staff of Chamavita consists of one project coordinator, one office manager and one secretary for administrative support. The coordinator is accountable to a management board of five members. This board is elected annually in a general meeting from among the foundation members. Her work in the Usambara Mountains is carried out in collaboration with the appropriate national, regional, district and village authorities.

Chamavita’s projects

Survey of completed and on-going projects (February 2021)

The following table gives an overview of all water supply projects Chamavita has carried out during the past 25 years and those for the near future. For each project we have indicated: name, number of users, year of  realization and year of completion of improvement, costs and donors. It should be noted that the Tsedaka Foundation (NL) has acted as an intermediary between Chamavita and its donors from 2005 to 2010. SPOTT Foundation has taken over this task since July 2010. With only one exception all donor organizations are from The Netherlands. Costs refer to recent expenditures for extension and improvement activities carried out   Chamavita and (partly) paid from SPOTT mediated donations.

Table of Chamavita projects with SPOTT mediation

Table of Chamavita projects with SPOTT mediation

Name Users


Period Costs


Past to present
Mbughui Juu 500 1997-1998 40,000 Wild Geese
Mgwashi Juu 1,500 1998-1999 115,000 Wild Geese and ICCO
Mkuzi 3,500 2003-2005 265,000 Wild Geese, ICCO, Simavi en Aqua for All.
Study programme

Water quantities in Kwemakame en Lukozi

Kwemakame 5,000

Lukozi 31,000

Kwemakame 2006-2013

Lukozi 2006-2010

Kwe: 15,000


Lu: 10,000

Kwemakame: A4A en PWN.

Lukozi: A4A

Milemileni 3,200 1994/2012 1st:160,000


Rabo Bank Foundation, NCDO, small donors.
Lukozi 31,000 1994/2011 1st:1,800,000

2d: 800,000

Cordaid (Cebemo), NCDO,  NATO Charity Bazaar, small donors
Kwemakame 5,000 1989/2011 1st: 210,000

2d: 150,000

Cordaid, NCDO, small donors
Mazinde Ngua 1,400 1996/2010 1st: 75,000

2d: 40,000

Miserior (Germany), NCDO and small donors
Rangwi 11,000 1976 – 1st: 550,000

2d: 80,000

Cordaid, NCDO, small donors
Raising dam Hambalawei Lukozi 31,000 2013   2,500 SPOTT, company fund, Wild Geese, Rabo Bank Foundation,small donors
Rangwi improvement 8,000 2013 52,100 Ditto
Maringo Juu Hamlet B & C 1,600 2014 45,000 SPOTT, SAS company fund, Wild Geese, small donors
Kireti, hamlet A & B 2,400 2015-2016 73,000 Ditto


Maringo Juu (new)

Goka, Nkelei, Karumele (improvement Rangwi system)





2016 66,160




SPOTT, SAS, Wild Geese, small donors


Kinko A      872 2017 49,654 Ditto plus Rabo Bank Foundation


Kinko B   1,306 2018 47,328 SPOTT, Wild Geese, small donors
Kinko C & D   1,021 2019 56,847 SPOTT, BVA (Dutch Catholic Church Charity)


Kwetete    700 2020 41.718 SPOTT, Wild Geese, small donors







   800 2021






44.784 Ditto





[Explanation at a rain water gauge in Lukozi]

Chamavita’s study programme

Through the years Chamavita has undertaken in collaboration with partners several studies to give a scientific background to her projects. Some of these studies are briefly described here.

Cost-benefit analysis of a new rural water supply company Lushoto In January 2011 Chamavita has conducted a cost-benefit analysis for a new type of water supply company, intended to operate all the water supply systems in the villages that Chamavita has worked with. The study has been executed with the help of Aquanet BV (Mr. Jos van Gastel as a resource person) and an expert team from Rwanda (Mr. Joseph Usabima: Water Supply Management Expert and team leader of the mission) and Tanzania (Mr. Johnson M. Boa; Economist and financial Expert). An important result was that a proper price for drinking water would be € 0.30 per person per month. At this price the company should be able to produce clean and reliable drinking water in the future.

Studies with water meters at Lukozi

From 2012 onwards water meters have been tried out at several test locations. Through these water meters Chamavita gathered more information about water consumption and the water balance of the
various supply systems. The population showed a very positive attitude towards the meters, so that Chamavita decided to install a meter at every house connection and public tap. PWN, the water supply company of North Holland, has donated 1,000 water meters for this purpose. Though the readings from water meters could facilitate fees proportional to the water consumption, so far fee collection in The Usambara Mountains occurs based on flat rates.

Study about poor water delivery at Kwemakame

In 2011 and 2012 Chamavita has studied the disappointing water yield of the system at Kwemakame. After study with the assistance of PWN it appeared that the shortage could be overcome by enhanced rainwater infiltration. By forcing rainwater to infiltrate instead of running off superficially the capacity of two subterraneous sources could be enlarged. For this purpose small reservoirs with infiltration pits were built. This improvement was ready by July 2012 and is being monitored since. This study and the improvement of the sources was funded by Aqua for All (NL).

The evaporation from open storage reservoirs in Migambo and Maringo Juu In 2014 Chamavita succeeded to gain insight into the quantity of the stored rain water that remains after the wet season for water supply during the dry season and what could be done to reduce evaporation. Based on the outcomes Chamavita proposed to construct new reservoirs for these two villages.


[Water level measurement at a source]

Study of leakage and clandestine connections at Lukozi

In 2016 the Water Users Association of Lukozi and Chamavita decided to localise leakages and clandestine connections using detection equipment. This was an important step in building up know-how about the water balance and losses of water. The study included the training of village plumbers in the application of detection equipment. PWN provided its assistance.

Study about water quality

Up to now no water quality measurements have been conducted as there have been no indications of poor quality. Nevertheless, Chamavita wants to gather information about water quality of the systems under its management. If needed, measures will be taken to improve the water quality. This study was planned to be carried out in collaboration with Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam. Due to various reasons this could not be realized until now.

Harvesting rainwater from roofs

An increasing number of houses in the villages have corrugated iron roofs. It would be rather easy to collect and store rain water from these roofs. Chamavita organized the monitoring of the quantities of rain in various villages. Then SPOTT established contacts with an organization from Guinee Bissau, that developed a model for the construction of rainwater harvesting tanks for individual families (of 5,000 ltrs). Early 2017 three village technicians were sent to a training course in Guinee Bissau. After that they constructed 10 demonstration tanks near houses where owners cared for part of the building materials and the connection of their roofs to the tanks. Early 2019 Chamavita organized an international training in Lukozi for exchange on experience and improvement of the construction. Presently the trained technicians receive orders from individual clients from many different villages. The advantage of having an individual extra buffer of rainwater in this so-called Calabash tank became very popular with the village population. The constructing technicians also adapted the size to larger models for schools and institutions (10,000 ltrs), and to a smaller size (20 – 40 ltrs) to serve as a handwashing facility. These became very popular during the recent Covid-19 pandemic.

Please, contribute to the work of Chamavita and SPOTT

Chamavita needs your financial support for new drinking water provisions. SPOTT requests your contribution!
The bank account number for your donations is NL22ASNB880.01.96.756 under the name of SPOT Tanzania in Leimuiden.


Do you want to know more about the work of SPOT Tanzania and Chamavita?
For Chamavita please contact the project manager Mr. Hande Mwanjela, hmwanjela@yahoo.com
For SPOTT please contact the project coordinator Mr. Kees Kempenaar, kees@spottanzania.nl