5 March 2018

Tanzania: You Read Me Wrong, Says Dodoma Boss

Dodoma — DODOMA Regional Commissioner, Dr Binilith Mahenge is unhappy with delays and time spent in implementing the World Food Programme funded irrigation scheme in Chamwino, giving the contractor two weeks to complete the job.

The Fufu-Chiboli Irrigation project implemented in Dodoma's Chamwino district and projected to benefit at least 100 households during rain season and about 400 people in dry-season is farfrom being complete despite the contract indicating November 2017 as a principal deadline.

Implemented by the Irrigation Commission in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation at the total cost of 893m/- , the project, involved setting up boreholes, water tank, irrigation systems and a control room.

But a tour made by the Regional Chief, Dr Mahenge along with WFP Head of Dodoma Sub-office, Ms Nima Sitta revealed that the project was only completed by 83 per cent and that it could take nearly four weeks to be ready for use. "I can confidently say the project will be ready by first of April," Engineer Godwin Makari of the Irrigation Commission told the upset Commissioner.

He says the project faced uncalculated delays that include flood threats on its Fufu village project. But the RC said he was not moved by such a 'cheap excuses'. "We had the first rains in Dodoma on the Christmas eve.

This means you had enough to complete the project before the rains," he said referring that the Irrigation Commission had committed to finish the project in just three months that is November. The Project Manager Engineer Nelson Maganga, had to intervene in what had appeared an intense argument between the contractor and the regional authority.

He said the project was miscalculated from its initial stage. "There areas which were not considered during the designing and projection of the project. This project involves concrete where curing takes much time ... it too was not involved in calculating time." Dr Mahenge was upset that the project had not been completed yet the contractor had already pocketed 89 per cent of the total cost.

More worrying is, the financier --the World Food Programme had just agreed to extend to 9 march as final option to release the remaining funds. Ms Sitta of the WFP says, the donor's system of releasing fund was fixed to February 28, however "we had to plead for extension to March 9 after the project appeared to had failed to meet the November deadline."

The RC gave a two-weeks ultimatum to the irrigation commission to ensure the project is complete come March 15 so it can benefit hundreds of people in the region


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