NEWLY inaugurated underground water projects in Dar es Salaam have brought much relief to thousands of residents as they now have direct access to clean and safe water.
Beneficiaries include primary and secondary schools, dispensaries, business centres among others, and the previous cause of stress in search of water has been lessened with water available in their proximity.
Speaking at the end of a two-day project opening tour organized by the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA) in Dar es Salaam on Friday, the Minister for Water, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, reminded beneficiaries of the obligation to take good care of the projects.
"The government continues to work out long-term solutions to water problems in Dar es Salaam and countrywide, before 2014. This includes expansion of both Upper and Lower Ruvu pump stations and construction of Kidunda dam upstream in Morogoro Region and laying of a 1.8 metre diameter water pipes from Lower Ruvu about 55 kilometres away to Dar es Salaam", he said.
Professor Maghembe added that apart from deep wells located at Mpera and Kimbiji, there was a need to have extra wells in Dar es Salaam, especially in areas not supplied by the water authority's pipe network. In 2012/13 budget, the government has set aside 117bn/- for the same purpose.The minister said it was necessary to improvise short-term solutions to alleviate water shortage in the city.
The deep wells in Mburahati, Keko Mwanga, Keko Magurumbasi, Chang'ombe, Kilungule B, Kimara, Ubungo, Malamba Mawili, King'ong'o, Mavurunza and Mbezi are meant to complement government efforts to access clean and safe water to at least 90 per cent of urban dwellers by 2015 and more than 60 per cent of the rural population as well," Prof Maghembe said.
It was further explained that the government has identified at least eight regions to have in place extensive water projects before the end of 2015. They include Lindi, Mtwara, Kagera, Tabora, Shinyanga, Rukwa, Mara, Singida and Tanga regions.
Engineer Charles Makoye from Dawasa assured the minister and the public at large of the safety and sustainability of the water projects under capacity building initiative. More than 64,000 residents have access to clean water everyday. Each of the water stations are furnished with 20,000 litre capacity tanks.
"Power-driven water pumps are connected to all community water projects. This deep well here at the premises of Muungano Primary School in Mburahati has the capacity to produce 17,000 litres a day. There are four water drawing centres under the supervision of appointed residents," Makoye explained.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dawasa, Archard Mutalemwa, said ongoing water projects are aimed at increasing the total supply from the current 273,000 cubic metres to 455,000 cubic metres a day.He said the estimated cost of the project was 2.1bn/- for the construction of 30 deep wells. So far twenty have been built around the city.
The local authority chairman of Mburahati Barafu, Mr Dickson Tungaraza, thanked President Jakaya Kikwete who visited the area in 2010 and promised to mobilize resources to ensure reliable supply of water to the area.
"We are delighted as we see the pledge coming true. Good health has direct correlation with water consumed. We appreciate efforts by the government through Dawasa and Dawasco to bring water services to our doorsteps. We will make sure that the infrastructures are well maintained," Tungaraza explained.
Florence Patrick is the treasurer to Keko Mwanga water supply project. She says the supply has been of great relief as hundreds of residents get water in a simplified way. No more fighting for water, she said.
"We charge 50/- for a 20-litre container. We have an eight-member community water committee, working together to ensure sustainability of the project. Money collected is for maintenance of the water pump and other uses," Florence explained.