THE government has threatened to withhold funds for councils that will fail to present reports outlining financial expenditures and implementation of water projects to the Prime Minister's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) within three months.
The Minister for Water, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, made the call on Wednesday while officially inaugurating water projects sponsored by development partners including the African Development Bank, World Bank, governments of German and Switzerland and Tanzania through the rural water and sanitation programme in Endagile Ward, Babati District in Manyara Region.
According to reports he received, most of the councils had failed to timeously submit reports to the government. He added that the Prime Minister's Office (PORALG) will make sure all reports are submitted on time to avoid unnecessary inconveniences to innocent residents who face water shortage due to administrative blunders.
"From now on, we will take stringent measures on councils that delay to submit their reports, including withholding funds," he insisted. Prof Maghembe launched a mega water project valued at 397.6m/- in Endagile and Mamire villages in Babati District with the capacity to serve 4,000 residents.
The national project is aimed at reducing poverty and improving health and standards of living for rural people and target 90 per cent of the rural populace to benefit by 2025. He also ordered residents of both villages to protect the environment, including forests surrounding water sources especially on Kwaraa Mountain for sustained water availability.
The project is a blessing to the villagers whose lives and standards of living will improve through gardening and moulding bricks. The villagers said that before the project was implemented most of them suffered from diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, amoeba and others through using dirty water.
"We were using dirty water for domestic use resulting in most of us suffering from diseases. We thank the government for introducing this water project because as of now we can easily get vegetables compare to the past where we travelled long distances to buy them," said Mr Peter, the chairman of Kwaraa water users community, on behalf of the villagers.
The project cost 137m US dollars for 10 villages in each council countrywide, but the government decided to implement it in 5 villages in each council due to lack of funds. The whole project will be completed during the 2013/2014 financial year. In Endagile ward, villagers contributed 9m/- which is equivalent to 2.5 per cent of the whole project.