24 November 2017

Tanzania: Seven-Month Ultimatum to Urban, Rural Water Bodies to Boost Supply

WATER authorities in urban and rural areas have until next June to reach 75 per cent of the population, from the current 55 per cent.

The Minister for Water and Irrigation, Engineer Isaac Kamwele, addressing the fifth Annual Water Conference (AWAC) at Tanga Beach Resort here, said available data show that only 55 per cent of the population have access to safe and clean water.

And, of the 55 per cent, urban authorities lead in supply efficiency, with the district and town councils performing poorly, the minister told the Association of Tanzanian Water Authorities Suppliers(ATAWAS) organised conference.

"The government's target is to have all citizens obtaining water within a 400-metre distance from their households," he said. Engineer Kamwele said availability of safe and clean water in the country is currently averaging 55 per cent, with urban areas enjoying 79 per cent coverage.

Water supply in rural areas however remains sluggish, said the minister, directing: "So, to meet the government objective I direct all water authorities in urban and rural areas to ensure that by June 30, 2018 water supply coverage is 75 per cent," he said.

He directed technicians, consultants, engineers and heads of water authorities within their water mapping designs to ensure that they meet demand of industrialists as well as domestic users, livestock and irrigation farmers.

"ATAWAS has 222 members, including researchers, engineers, lecturers and many professionals of different cadres, use them to support the country's industrialisation drive," he advised.

He highlighted the challenges haunting the water ministry as relatively weak rural water authorities as compared to their urban counterparts, lack of accurate data on water resources and councillors' approval of substandard contractors to execute water projects.

Engineer Kamwele challenged ATAWAS to maximally administer production and availability of reliable data on water resources. ATAWAS chairperson Bwire Mkama said the association, which was established in 2002, aims at ensuring that by 2025 every household is supplied with clean and safe water.

The association's 222 members include lecturers, head of rural and urban water authorities, engineers and private water companies in the water sector.

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