DESPITE pledges so far made by the government and other authorities to ensure that water shortage in Dar es Salaam becomes a thing of the past, a number of residents in some parts of the city, Kibaha and Mlandizi in Coast Region have been experiencing acute shortage of the precious liquid for over a week now, forcing them to dig deeper into their pockets.
A survey by the 'Daily News' has established that a 20-litre bucket which previously sold at 200/- now goes for over 500/-. As the demand has outstripped supply, the residents have had to wait for long hours for water vendors, disrupting their other day-to-day activities.
"We have been experiencing this problem for a number of days now. Water taps are dry as you can see and when water flows it comes with very low pressure, thus forcing people to queue for over five hours," said Ms Aurelian Ndunguru, a resident of Kimara on the outskirts of the city.
They blamed the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (DAWASCO), saying its services, besides being poor, the corporation remained silent without alerting them about the shortage.
"I think it would have been much better if DAWASCO informed us of the shortage earlier so we could prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead. We don't know what fueled the shortage and we still don't know when the service will normalize," Ms Tina Laurent from Tabata lamented.
The survey further discovered that in most areas water flowed between 3:00am and 6:00am, which caused them inconvenience as thieves used the opportunity to steal from their homes. "We have witnessed several theft cases around this time.
Thieves target the time when people are busy waiting for water away from their residential areas. That is when they break into our houses to steal," said Mzee Nundu of Mbezi kwa Musuguri.
When contacted for comment, DAWASCO said the shortage was caused by technical hitches at the Upper Ruvu water plant, adding that repairs would take between five and seven days.
The corporation's Public Relations Officer, Ms Everlasting Lyaro, said following the technical hitches at Upper Ruvu in Mlandizi on November 23, this year, one of its three pre-lift pumps failed to operate.
"This resulted in a drastic drop of water pumped into the city and some parts of the Coast Region from 80 million litres to 50 million litres per day," she explained in a telephone interview.
Ms Lyaro said due to the technical problem a number of areas in Dar es Salaam, Kibaha and Mlandizi in Coast Region had been affected, noting that the transformer had already been handed over to the constructors and rehabilitation work was in progress.
She mentioned other affected areas as Kibamba, Mbezi, Kimara, Ubungo, University of Dar es Salaam main campus, Kibangu, Riverside, areas along Mandela road, Tabata and Segerea.
Statistics indicate that current demand for water in Dar es Salaam stands at 450,000 cubic metres a day while the volume supplied daily is 300,000 cubic metres, leaving some places in the city without water.
The difference is 150,000 cubic metres a day, but with ongoing construction of industries and residential houses, the demand is set to be far higher, thus additional measures are required to counterbalance the growing population of Dar es Salaam, currently standing at more than 4 million.
The Minister for Water, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, some days back had been quoted as saying that a number of projects were to be implemented that would totally end water shortage in the city.
Water projects identified for implementation include Lower Ruvu from the current supply of 182,000 cubic metres per day to 270,000cubic metres; Upper Ruvu (82,000 to 196,000), deep wells (21,000 to 27,000) Mtoni, Kimbiji and Mpera for rehabilitation to produce 9,000 cubic metres, 156,000 cubic metres and 104 cubic metres, respectively.