Zanzibar — MANY Zanzibar residents in a number of areas do not have access to clean and safe drinking water.
People living in Panga-Tupu area, North B district and Kwarara in West district on Unguja island have been forced to make do with unsafe water due to a lack of water supply in the areas.
"We have been without water for too long, forcing us to either walk long distances in search of water or use the available dirty water," said Omar Haji, a resident of Panga-Tupu. Mr Mussa Ali Khamis, the area's councillor, said that water problems in the village are huge and asked the government to help find a lasting solution of water shortages in the villages.
Similar problems are commonplace in Kwarara area in Fuoni constituency as the area's representative, Mr Said Mussa Zubeir, said that he was working with Zanzibar Water Authority (ZAWA) to find a solution. ZAWA authorities blame a dilapidated water supply system and climate change which has caused water salinity in wells close to the coastal areas including Stone Town.
Environment degradation, mainly cutting down of trees is also blamed for water shortages. Agriculture, health, education and water are the priorities in this year's Zanzibar government budget, with support from development partners.