AT LEAST 15 different community water projects worth 15bn/- have been officially inaugurated in Dare s Salaam to make accessible a reliable supply of safe and clean water for residents who are not directly connected to the main supply lines of the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewage Authority (DAWASA).
The inauguration ceremony was held at the premises of Mbagala Kuu Primary School in Temeke District and attended by a high-powered delegation from the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union (EU).
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water, Eng Bashir Mrindoko, requested members of the community to give serious consideration on protection of the projects to ensure sustainability.
"Despite the impressive achievements recorded by the government in improving water services more needs to be done to make sure that 50 per cent of the population has access to clean and safe water by 2015," Mrindoko said.
Clarifying on the government's commitment to improve water services, Eng Mrindoko said various water projects are being funded.
As for Dar es Salaam and Coast regions, he mentioned expansion of water pump stations in Upper and Lower Ruvu, the project that goes hand-in-hand with the establishment of new water pipes.
Drilling of 20 deep wells in Mpera and Kimbiji and improvement of other water sources, he added, aims at alleviating water shortages and is part of implementation of a long-term national water supply program extending to 2025.
The water sector is part of the country's priority under the Big Results Now (BRN) initiative. "Funding of water projects is costly. We are grateful to development partners for continued support to various development projects.
The 15bn/- is a lot of money therefore all those inclined to destroy the water infrastructure must be apprehended. " Water projects must be protected for a sustainable supply," he insisted.
The Belgian Ambassador to Tanzania, Koenraad Adam, reiterated his government's commitment to strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation with Tanzania. He also reminded the community about the need to conserve water and expose illegal connections.
"Proper management of water projects will speed up the process to lift up the people's living standards in line with the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of poverty.
"Easy accessibility of water will give time to the people to do other income generating activities. Clean water prevents communicable diseases. I even tell my son Martin to conserve water because water is life," Ambassador Adam said.
In total, there are 15 community water projects in Dar es Salaam. These are deep wells dug in the residential proximity for a reliable supply of water to schools, dispensaries, markets, police stations, domestic uses among others.
The distribution in the region is such that there six wells in Temeke, Five in Ilala and four in Kinondoni. According to the Project Coordinator, Mr Zephania Mihayo, the projects were jointly funded by the government of Tanzania (over 600m/-), Belgium (over 7bn/-) and the European Union (over 7bn/-).
Out of the number, ten projects have been completed and the remaining five are 95 per cent done. "The project, which is well furnished with 16 storage tanks and 181 dripping points (DPs) has a total supply capacity of 330,000 litres per hour.
Clean and safe water is easily accessible to consumers as the deep wells range between 65 and 120 metres," Mihayo clarified.
However, in the project report presented by Mama Chagula on behalf of other beneficiaries, the local committee members identified challenges inhibiting smooth running of the water projects.
These include frequent power interruptions, destruction of the infrastructure (perforation of the water pipes) and more seriously lack of legal recognition of the committees for effective operation.
The Director General of the Belgian Department for Development Cooperation, Mr Peter Moor said access to water is part of human rights.
"The booming population of Dar es Salaam goes well with improvement of water services and Belgium is committed to cooperation with the people of Tanzania," he said.