Despite several reforms in the water sector coupled with significant external financial assistance for water development projects, a large population in Tanzania faces water supply problems. This paper analyses issues and problems pertaining to urban and rural water supply services in Tanzania by citing examples from Dar es Salaam City and Singida rural district. Desk study, field visits, discussions and personal observations were used for collecting information. Water supply coverage is 73% and 53% for urban and rural areas, respectively. Only 30% of the population in Dar es Salaam is served by piped water. The unserved poorer segments of the population pay higher for water services. The water distribution systems are worn out and account for 60% of water loss. Inadequate coverage of water supply is associated with prevalence of waterborne diseases. Urban water authorities are inefficient in financial management. Water tariffs are low, ranging between US$ 0.25 and US$ 0.35/m3/month and unregistered customers exceed 110, 000. Singida rural water sources include dams, shallow and deep wells. About 70% of installed pumps are impaired owing to poor management. Rural populations use polluted sources which are purified using local seeds. Finally the paper gives recommendations for improving water supply services.

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