5 November 2012

Tanzania: Surveyors Undermine Water Supply Projects

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete (file photo).

Dodoma — THE government has ordered all district councils to impose stern measures and legal action against surveyors who have sabotaged the implementation of the Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP) in their areas.

The programme financed by the World Bank (WB) is scheduled to drill water wells in ten villages in every council is said to have been incapacitated by some dishonest officials thus rendering its delay. The Deputy Minister for Water, Dr Binilith Mahenge, gave the directive in Parliament when responding to Nyamagana MP, Ezekia Wenje (Chadema).

Mr Wenje asked what action was taken by the Government against surveyors who lied to the drillers. "In many areas surveyors gave wrong data on available water, but when drillers turned up for work, the areas were found giving no water, causing the loss to the government", Mr Wenje said.

Dr Mahenge said the problem occurred when the contracted surveyors did not cooperate with Councils' experts responsible for those particular valleys who were familiar with the areas. "I, in this case, order that all councils take up immediate steps to put them accountable for the loss occurred," he said.

On the other hand, he said, in implementing the WSDP, the government faced various challenges, among others, procurement procedures of some councils to understand. Others were low capacity by water consultants in the water sector in evaluating the project.

When the programme started many councils had no departments to deal with the procurement management issues. He, however, maintained that the ministry has been building capacity to councils in order to fast-track implementation of the programme for the water sector. As of last month according to Dr Mahenge, a total of 103 councils had completed procedures and got certificates to allow them start to construct water infrastructure in their areas.

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