9 May 2003

Tanzania: Government Abandons Free Water Policy

THE Government of Tanzania abandoned its policy of free water supplies to the public in 1990, an official of the ministry of water and livestock development has said.

The official, Ponna Buja Hokororo, is a senior water technician data base officer from Dar es Salaam.

Briefing Business Times in Tabora, Hokororo revealed that water experts from the ministry were assigned to go upcountry during the Water Week to oversee relevant activities in the regions.

Their tasks included propounding on this year's key message of conserving water sources for future generations. They were also required to ensure that beneficiaries participated fully in planning, constructing, maintaining and managing water resources.

Hokororo said the new Government water policy, which has been in place since 2000, is to mobilise people to fully participate in planning, constructing, operating, maintaining and managing water services and sources.

This is evident in the way the ministry, through its representatives, emphasised three key messages: water supply sustainability, conservation of water sources and keeping a water data bank.

She said the Government and the a non-government organisations, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), have jointly launched a rural water scheme data bank. This will ensure correct, timely data and information for design, construction and operation of different water projects.

Hokororo said data keeping regarding water development projects in villages, wards, districts, regions and elsewhere is vital to maintain proper records.

From her experience, most water projects are either constructed by water committees, NGOs, water-use associations, trusts, communal water authorities or national projects.

She further said that, apart from stressing the sustainability of water provision, conservation of water sources and water data bank, this year's Water Week celebrations emphasised the establishment of water funds in rural areas.

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