Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli yesterday asked the long-serving head of the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (Dawasa), Mr Archard Mutalemwa, to step down voluntarily to salvage his reputation.
The Head of State was speaking in Mlandizi, Coast Region, as he highlighted challenges that have dogged the water sector in the city and across the country for many years.
The President spoke on the second day of his three day tour of the region.
Dr Magufuli asked Mr Mutalemwa, an engineer, to retire ahead of time, warning him that he risked damaging his reputation by clinging on to his position as Dawasa CEO while the institution he leads has been grappling with poor administration.
"Before things turn bad, I want to ask you politely to step down so that what you have achieved over the years is not soiled by some of the administrative concerns here," said the President.
Mr Mutalemwa was present at the event where the Head of the State made the statement.
President Magufuli said that Dawasa, an institution responsible for operating and maintaining all water supply and sewerage services in Dar es Salaam and its satellite towns of Bagamoyo and Kibaha, could have performed better if the young people were allowed into the institution's leadership positions.
The institutions that run the water sector, he said, have been given enough funds to run but some of the funds were being misappropriated.
"Sometimes, I don't see the reason why we should have boards of Directors for two of these institutions-Dawasa and Dawasco," he queried as he hinted on the ways the administration could save money to ensure water is supplied by cutting down the operational and administrative costs.
He said that each year the water demands for domestic purposes in each household in the country was 1800 litres per year, according to international standards.
But Dr Magufuli noted the current estimates showed that Tanzania supplied 1,700 litres per household per year.
"As a country, we are not at such a bad level but without swift interventions to protect water sources, experts' reports show that the water supply will fall up to 833 litres per person per year by the year 2035. This should not be allowed to happen," said the President amid applause from the residents.
"It is high time we ensured that all the water supply systems are well fixed and running. There is need to protect the water sources by planting trees.
Earlier, the Minister for Water and Irrigation, Mr Gerson Lwenge, said that efforts were ongoing to boost the supply of water in Dar es Salaam, in an effort to fill that gap in the water demands.
"Currently, 544 million cubic metres of water are needed in Dar es Salaam per day. But so far, 502 million cubic metres can be supplied. There is a gap that we still need to cover but we are making all the necessary efforts to fill the gaps," he said.
In response to the speech, President Magufuli asked the heads of water utilities in the city to ensure that all institutions that owe water bills are paying in time.
"I am aware of the Sh40 billion debt that various institutions owe the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation. I am insisting that water supply should be cut off to any government institution, including State House, which happen not to pay their bills on time."