Ferrovial - ‘Maji ni Uhai’ (Water is life) Project

‘Maji ni Uhai’ (Water is life) Project

The ‘Maji ni Uhai’ project has used Ferrovial staff skills and core competencies to provide access to clean water and sanitation to over 51,000 people in disadvantaged communities in Tanzania.

Business Impact

  • Improvement of Ferrovial’s relationships with Governments, their main customers, and opening ways to operate in new markets.
  • Improvement of the company’s reputation and recognition of their work by receiving several international awards
  • Higher scoring in Social Responsible Investment indices, for example an improvement in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index of 10 points
  • Staff satisfaction: pride of belonging improved by 5% in the employee survey over the course of the project.

Society Impact

  • 51,462 people benefitting from drinking water and sanitation infrastructure
  • 1,500 people trained in the management and maintenance of infrastructure.
  • The project has reduced the average time spent by women fetching water from four hours to less than half an hour.
  • Reduced disease: Malaria- from 4,000 to 2,100 cases; Diarrhoea- from 400 to 250 cases; Worms- from 1,100 to 400 cases; Skin infections- from 900 to 250 cases.

It is not often that you get the chance to contribute actively to deprived areas. The 'Maji ni Uhai' project seemed the perfect way to use our knowledge to help people in desperate need. It has been a great experience and I recommend it to future volunteers, because you receive much more than you actually give.

- Quintín Vizcaya,
Volunteer in the 'Maji ni Uhai' Programme

Partnering with NGOs and Governments

Ferrovial is the world's leading private investor in transportation infrastructure with four business focus areas:  Services, Highways, Construction and Airports.

'Maji ni Uhai’ is the first project to be completed as part of Ferrovial's Social Infrastructure Programme, a public-private partnership between Ferrovial, NGOs and regional governments implementing development projects that will provide drinking water and sanitation in Africa and South America. These projects:

  • Are funded 100% by Ferrovial.
  • Are managed through a Committee with representatives from the NGO and the company, in which Ferrovial acts as technical advisor for the infrastructure.
  • Use skills and expertise of volunteers from Ferrovial, such as civil and hydraulic engineers and architects, in the field or in the workplace.


Maji ni Uhai

The first project to be completed through this programme is Maji ni Uhai in rural areas of the Serengeti District in Tanzania.  It is a partnership with with Amref Flying Doctors and has provided drinking water and sanitation infrastructure to over 51,000 people in the Serengeti District.  The project was developed over three years with a budget of 1.8 million euros and 29 volunteers.  In 2007, water coverage in the Serengeti District was 28% and this project increased it to 89% in 2011. The proportion of schools with water and sanitation facilities such as latrines and hand washing water tanks, increased from 8.3% in 2008 to 53% in 2011. The proportion of homes with water and sanitation facilities increased from 7% in 2008 to 20.5% in 2011.

Water harvesting tank in a dispensary - Maji ni Uhai project












Water harvesting tank in a dispensary - 'Maji ni Uhai' project

The learning from 'Maji ni Uhai' is informing three other projects that are being implemented as part of the Social Infrastructure Programme in Peru, Tanzania and Haiti.