AS Tanzanians wait with bated breath for the implementation of the mega Rufiji Hydroelectricity Project at Stiegler's Gorge, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation has said it is currently finalising its ambitious venture to supply clean and safe water to the site.
The 604.9m/- project, which is implemented through the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA), is 80 per cent complete and is expected to be accomplished by August 15, according to DAWASA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Suphian Masasi.
The multi-million shilling project is part of the preparations at the site, so that the contractor and the team of all people participating in the 2 billion US dollars Stiegler's Gorge work without stumbling blocks.
The Minister for Water and Irrigation, Professor Makame Mbarawa (pictured), travelled all the way from Dar es Salaam to the Stiegler's Gorge site on Friday, to receive a progress report on the implementation of the water project, where he paid tribute to the contractor and DAWASA for speedy implementation of the project.
The project is being undertaken by a Chinese company, China Henan International Cooperation Group Co Limited, which is an addendum of the ongoing mega water project in Kisarawe District.
According to the Minister, upon completion of the project, there will be two main tanks at Stiegler's Gorge that will have the capacity to produce 209,000 litres of water per day.
The amount of water required, he added, would increase as needs arise. Professor Mbarawa added that the move to have water in place was among the prior preparations towards the implementation of Stiegler's Gorge project.
"Before the implementation of the country's ambitious project, we need to make sure that people who will be coming and staying at the site have reliable infrastructure including roads, electricity and safe and clean drinking water," he added.
According to DAWASA CEO, under the 604.9m/- water project, the contractor was putting up water treatment plant at the area, a pumping station, construction of 1,463 water pipeline of between 1.5 and 3 inches as well as refurbishing two older pumps with 45,000 and 22,500 litres respectively.
Prof Mbarawa who has less than a month in his new office, becomes the second minister to visit the Stiegler's Gorge after the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Dr Medard Kalemani. When he toured the site, Dr Kalemani said the 2 billion US dollars Rufiji hydropower dam, would be implemented from July, this year.
This power station is located in Selous Game Reserve, one of the world's largest World Heritage sites, measuring 45,000 square kilometres. The dam will be built along the Rufiji River which crosses Selous Game Reserve.
The Stiegler's Gorge project, when completed, is expected to add 2,100MW to the national grid, bringing the total installed capacity to 3,651MW.
The project follows an agreement entered on March 31, 2017, between President Dr Magufuli and the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, when he came to Tanzania for a two-day State visit.
The Ethiopian leader promised Dr Magufuli to bring dam experts to help the country in the implementation of the project, basing on the fact that Ethiopia had made a commendable step on the country's power generation.
Three months later, the Ethiopian experts came to Tanzania and held talks with Dr Magufuli. Ethiopia has become Africa's leading country on transformative hydropower schemes, after undertaking ambitious projects like the 6GW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is presently nearing completion. Ethiopia has agreed to send a group of expert advisers to help Tanzania set up the scheme.