The idea of forming an Association of Tanzanian Water Suppliers (ATAWAS) came from the Managing Directors of Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Authorities who were attending the Annual Water Experts Conference organized by the then Ministry of Water and Livestock Development in Arusha in December 1998. They proposed to form a Union/Association which will coordinate their activities, promote exchange of information and coordinate with external partners. The meeting appointed the Interim Secretariat to work out the modalities of forming the Association.

ATAWAS, formally, started in October 2002 after registration through Register of Societies (Registration No. 11614) as a Non-Governmental Organisation. The Association act as a forum for the Tanzania water supply organizations to exchange experience and best practices with the view to enhancing their management performance in the water and sanitation sector. Membership comprises of Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authorities (WSSAs), Community Owned Water Supply Organizations (COWSOS), water and sanitation services vendors, manufacturers of water supply materials, water wells drillers, water engineering, plumbing works, research, training, and individual members with interests in water sector.

The objectives of the Association are to build capacity of water supply and sanitation providers to be able to offer adequate, affordable and sustainable services; to promote networking among stakeholders in the water supply and sanitation sectors; and to mobilize resources for the development of water supply and sanitation services.

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