Capacity building: Training artisans in the WASH sector

Since 2012, Skat Foundation has been collaborating with SHIPO (Southern Highlands Participatory Organization) to train and support local artisans in the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Over time, the project evolved from a simple training course into a holistic project, which fosters micro-entrepreneurs and strengthens markets, with the objective of delivering low-cost, high value products and services to people living in dispersed settlements in the target area.



Project Period:

since 2012- up to date

Services Provided by Skat Foundation:

Knowledge Sharing, Networking, Training &  Capacity Building

  • Technical advice, coaching and networking
  • Fundraising and reporting
  • Strategic guidance

Name of Staff involved and functions performed:

Project Manager: Matthias Saladin (technical advice, strategic guidance, monitoring, reporting)

Name of Client(s)

Volkart Foundation, Drink&Donate

Description of the Project:

The project includes three main components: i) training of local artisans (welders and drillers) on technical, financial and marketing aspects, ii) market facilitation, and iii) certification and quality assurance of products and services provided by the trained artisans.

The project employs both a push and a pull mechanism to help local artisans improving their income: on one hand, they are trained in specific skills (borehole drilling, well digging, and pump construction) and on the other hand, demand is enhanced through promotion and marketing activities. Furthermore, SHIPO checks on the installations during the months after each training block, and certifies the artisans who fulfill the requirements. This generates an incentive for the artisans to provide high-quality products and services, and it opens the opportunity for direct feedback from SHIPO to the artisans. This certification mechanism is supported by a smartphone App which the artisans use to register each product sold to a client – this then also serves for monitoring and reporting purposes to the project.

The project is implemented under Skat’s Self-supply Theme, which is embedded in the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). Self-supply is a modality of service provision under which private households incrementally improve their water service level, largely funded by their own resources. It has particularly big potential for improving living standards of rural populations in sparsely populated areas such as the Southern Highlands in Tanzania.

Skat brings its expertise on accelerating Self-supply, technical aspects, management and networking to the project. It acts as a sounding board to SHIPO to discuss and develop new ideas on how to improve quality, efficiency and profitability of the local micro-enterprises, and how to professionalize the sector of manual drilling and pump production. Skat helped SHIPO to obtain funding from third parties and provides its support services to on-going projects. Skat also functions as the linkage between the donor agencies and the implementer and makes sure that the experiences and lessons learned are shared with a wide range of actors, both in Tanzania and internationally. Whereas the initial phases focused on the technical and training aspects, over time the market and financing aspects became more and more important. Recently, topics such as small-scale irrigation and fish-farming have been integrated into the project, and respective demonstration plots have been developed on the premises of SHIPO in Njombe.

Between 2012 and 2019, Skat helped SHIPO to train more than 200 artisans (drillers and welders), who reported more than 1,000 wells and boreholes (with pumps), thus benefitting more than 35’000 people.