A NUMBER of revelations came to the surface when the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mr Saidi Meck Sadiki, toured water installations in his region and the neighbouring Coast Region.
In addition to several other sources, the sprawling city of Dar es Salaam and its surrounding region largely depend on water from Ruvu River, which mostly meanders its way to the sea past Coast Region. Despite the abundant supply of water from the Ruvu source, which has ably served Dar es Salaam for decades, the ever-increasing population of the city and entire region and changes in climate has resulted into diminished flow, which has seen water levels -- and hence supply -- dwindle.
As if that has not been enough challenge, a number of unscrupulous residents along the water pipeline from Ruvu to various parts of Dar es Salaam have dared 'short-circuiting' the supply line by effecting unauthorized and therefore, illegal connections to their residences and irrigation farming projects. The end result of such illegal connections has been an acute shortage of water to other parts in the larger distribution network due to the short-circuiting and wastage due to the use of sub-standard pipes.
While it is true that the present water supply system in Dar es Salaam has been overwhelmed as a result of the region's growing population and poor distribution infrastructure, it is equally true that the little that is present could have been fairly distributed if there has not been such wanton and rampant 'water robbery.'
During his tour, Mr Sadiki found out that the city's water utility firm, Dawasco, loses 46 per cent of water due to poor infrastructure and vandalism, which has impacted negatively on the water supply and distribution system in the city. As the RC stated, a number of people have been arrested and taken to task after being found to have carried out illegal connections. Hopefully, such action would deter others with the same intentions.
Yet all said and done, water authorities must explore other avenues or sources to boost water supply in Dar es Salaam. The city is fast growing in all aspects - size and population - while Ruvu remains the major 'supplier.' Meanwhile, let all of us use water prudently. Every drop counts.