SUSTAINABILITY of community water projects which the government continues to allocate billions of shillings to the convenience of consumers will be guaranteed through determination by the beneficiaries to protect water sources, conserve the environment and avoid misuse of water funds established in the respective localities.
Speaking in Dodoma at the climax of the 26th Water Week Festival marked at national level in the region, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said protection of water sources was not optional, but an obligation as consistent supply of water to the people is among the six priorities earmarked by the government under Big Results Now (BRN) initiative.
Other priorities include agriculture, education, energy, transportation and efficiency in revenue collection.
"Members of the National Assembly together with the government underlined the need to speed up completion of water projects in different districts.
The last budget session endorsed some extra budget amounting to 184.5bn/- for effective implementation of the projects. We are determined to resolve water challenges," Mr Pinda said.
Under the initiative, the government under Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP) decided that in every district council, at least ten water projects should be implemented before end of 2015, in order to meet the target of making water services accessible to both rural and urban centres by between 65 and 90 per cent respectively.
Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated a water project worth 28bn/- near Dodoma University campus on the outskirts of the municipality of the capital city, whereby a 4,500 metre cube capacity water tank was also opened.
"Plant enough trees to give a magnificent view to the university campus. I would like to thank development partners, the World Bank in particular and others who supported the government to meet its commitments," he said.
The World Bank Representative for Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, Mr Philippe Dongier reiterated the bank's commitment to continue working with reliable partners like Tanzania to help end human crises.
UDOM Vice-Chancellor, Prof Idris Kikula expressed gratitude for the accomplished project, saying that the water project had been inaugurated at an opportune time and would end water problems that previously afflicted the university community, currently with the population of about 16,000.
During the day, the prime minister addressed the residents of Mkonze village on the outskirts of Dodoma municipality where he opened another water project.
Water Week in Dodoma was observed with great joy as 12 out of 13 planned water projects were inaugurated.
The Minister for Water, Prof Jumanne Maghembe said Mkonze water project which would benefit more than 6,000 people in the village and beyond was part of the 13 water projects out of 69 other projects designated for implementation before end of 2015.
According to the legislator from the area, Mr David Malol, the project would benefit neighbouring villages as well.
These include Michese, Ntyuka, Azuzu, Kisichili and Mkonze itself. Emile Laitigo (29), resident of Mkonze, said running water was a great gift to the villagers who for a long time suffered from waterborne diseases.
"It was tough and tormenting. We collected water from shallow wells dug up during wet seasons. The unclean water made us sick everyday especially the children. There was a diarrhoea case in almost every family.
Today's inauguration marks a new beginning," she said. Under Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP), Tanzania has a Development Vision 2025 that aims at ending poverty and attaining a high quality of life for all people.
Water supply, sanitation and water resource management features prominently in the Development Vision.
Intrinsic to these overall targets are the objectives of equity of access, water management capacity and proper maintenance of water and sanitation systems, use of environmentally sound technologies and effective water tariffs, billing and revenue collection mechanisms.