12 July 2012

Tanzania: Plans Underway to Form Water Agency

THE government is mulling formation of an executive agency that would oversee development of the water sector and maintenance of its infrastructure, the National Assembly here was told late Tuesday.

"We are planning something in the mould of TANROADS," said the Minister for Water Prof Jumanne Maghembe, as he was winding up his ministry's 2012/2013 budget estimates. TANROADS is responsible with maintenance and development of trunk and regional road networks on the mainland.

Prof Maghembe, whose ministry's 485,898,613 000/- budget was approved by the House on Tuesday night, said the process for formation of the agency to be known as TANWATER was well underway, noting that once in place it would enhance government's supervision of the sector.

Contributing to the ministry's budget estimates, Tarime's CCM legislator Nyambari Nyangwine had earlier proposed formation of the agency to be charged with the task of developing the sector especially in rural areas.

The minister conceded that the sector faced a myriad of challenges, but stressed that the government was determined to improve and realise its goal of ensuring that at least 75 and 90 per cents of the rural and urban populations, respectively have access to safe and clean water by 2015.

The minister said senior officials in the ministry including himself would embark on field trips regularly to oversee implementation of various projects including those funded by the World Bank such as rural water and sanitation plans.

The projects came under fierce criticism in the House. "We recently had discussion with the world bank regarding the slow pace of the projects and we agreed on a number of issues that would expedite their (projects) implementation," said the minister, noting that the government had secured additional 30bn/- from DFID.

The minister also said a legislation to guide scrap metal business is underway as part of government plans to check vandalism of water and other public infrastructures. He expressed concern over rising spate of vandalism of pipelines and metres.

A number of legislators including the ministry's opposition spokesperson Sylvester Kasulumbayi called upon the government to closely monitor the scrap metal business, which they said fuelled sabotage of public infrastructures.

According to the minister, the government would soon conduct an operation in Dar es salaam to expose unscrupulous customers who have been 'hoarding' water supplied by the Dar es salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (DAWASCO) and then selling it illegally.

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