Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: L.victoria Water Initiative - Hopeful Venture for Mwanza

Mwanza — MWANZA Urban Water Supply and Sanitation in collaboration with other stakeholders has signed a new contract aimed at improving water supply, sanitation services to the people.

Officials say the move is seen as a precursor toward mitigating the problem of water supply in areas that have in recent past witnessed increased human population.

The project, common as the Lake Victoria Region Water and Sanitation project Phase Two, is geared to improve water and sanitation services in three towns, Geita, Sengerema and Nansio (Ukerewe District).

The signing ceremony took place just last week here in Mwanza City, and was also witnessed by Mwanza Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (MWAUWASA) Officials, project consultant representatives (Cowi-Tanzania). The project will be implemented in joint cooperation between Tanzania government represented by Mwauwasa, and consulting engineers known COWITanzania in association with COWI A/S Denmark and Samez, Kenya.

Newly appointed Mwanza Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority Managing Director, Eng. Anthony D. Sanga, told the 'Daily News' over the weekend that the project would cost almost a total of 30.4 US Dollars, which is equivalent to about 70bn/-.

"The consultant has already begun a feasibility study that is expected to culminate in six months and thereafter the contractor will be selected. Main activities during implementation would be provision of appropriate infrastructure to provide water supply systems, provision of equipment for an improved solid waste management system, and storm water drainage in respective areas," says Eng. Sanga.

It is important to note that in 2004, UN-HABITAT, in association with the governments of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda launched a major initiative to address the water and sanitation needs of the population, particularly the poor, in the secondary urban centres around Lake Victoria.

The Lake Victoria Region Water and Sanitation Initiative Lvwatsan is supporting participating governments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for water supply and sanitation, with emphasis on innovation. Officials say that the programme has been initiated to support investments for water and sanitation improvement projects in the Lake Victoria Region.

This lake is the world's second largest freshwater lake and the largest in Africa. The Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation operation project- phase two is expected to improving the infrastructure for the supply, sanitation and waste management of the lake's water.

Upgraded water and sanitation services are to alleviate the living conditions of poor populations. The project, which is also being supported by African Development Bank (Af DB), is also expected to be completed by the year 2015.Upon its completion, and the project will be able to provide services to the target population till 2025. The project forecasts need of the increasing population for the next ten years.

And we are very optimistic the project will be a success story as will meet water demand, sanitation services for the target population of Geita, Nansio and Sengerema township," says Mr Sanga. The Cowi-Tanzania expert, Mr Edward Kazimoto, says that the feasibility study will be done as 'quickly as possible' to pave a way for selection of the contactor to do the job. "It is not necessary that we have to spent all six months to do the task.

We can even complete it in less than six months," explains Mr Kazimoto. In most cases, the Lake Victoria Region Water and Sanitation Initiative consists of two interrelated phases to support both the design and implementation phases of the initiative.

The design phase involves interviews with local stakeholders during the design missions, high level town hall meetings, community focus group discussions and workshops to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to understand, review and provide input on the design of the physical and capacity building interventions in water, sanitation, solid waste and drainage.

"We want to assure the public the execution of the project will be cost effective, successful and meets its stipulated time framework. We have a vast experience in this field and also having a very competent team of personnel to do the job," says the Cowi Consultant.

In a long-term perspective, it hopes to achieve improved living conditions for the target population of about 4 million people in the region by 2025 through providing safe, reliable and affordable drinking water, with a particular emphasis on improving water supply coverage of the peri-urban and urban poor populations.

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