Tanzania: Govt Acts Tough On Water Projects

THE government has put on ice plans to call for contractors to implement various water projects, saying the tendering process is a waste of time and adds to unnecessary expenditures.

Ministry for Water Prof Makame Mbarawa issued new directives in Chamwino over the weekend saying instead, the ministry will use its experts to execute such projects.

"We will use Drilling and Dam Construction Agency (DDCA) on such projects that demand drilling boreholes," Prof Mbarawa said.

The Minister was of the view that a lot more private contractors were increasingly becoming expensive to hire and yet implementation of projects remained slow.

He said, "This is why we're abandoning the old style and we want the experts in the ministry to take over the jobs."

Although it was not immediately established the level and capacity of the ministry's experts, the government believes the new plan is cost-effective.

Thus, it would allow the use of internal budget to fund a lot more water projects. The new announcement effectively freezes all water project contractors' tenders that was recently floated by the rural water supply and sanitation agency (Ruwasa).

The minister issued the directives shortly after receiving an implementation of water project report in Chamwino and expressed worry over the slow pace of work by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) in implementing various water projects in the country.

He, therefore, called for an emergency meeting with the executive today to discuss the performance of contractors who are delaying government- funded water projects, and undermine efforts to fulfill its campaign promises to the people.

"The other reason is Ruwasa has been tactfully delaying contractors' payments that then turn the blame on the minister," noted Prof Mbalawa.

He said since the work on the project started in July, this year, the pace towards implementing the project cast shadows of doubt as to when the project would be completed.

"People need water and we're here without water yet the money has been released by the government," he said.

Among the contractors who phoned the minister over the delayed payments include one implementing a water project in Longido.

The ministry had made payment for the work done; unfortunately, Ruwasa was withholding the fund for an unclear reason.

The minister was suspicious that foul play might have been orchestrated by managers at the zonal level but not the national leaders.

He said the agency was established to foster the implementation of water projects, especially under the council level.

The report, presented by Acting Manager for Chamwino District, Christina Msengi, announced that as of October this year, about 264,484 people out of 406,898 residents or 65 per cent had access to clean and safe water.

She said during the financial year 2018/19 the government allocated 350m/- to drill deep boreholes in 14 villages and that DDCA had so far drilled boreholes in only seven villages.

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