Tanzania: Mega Water Project Delay Irks Deputy Minister

THE Deputy Minister for W ater Jumaa Aweso has expressed his dismay at the delayed construction of Same- Mwanga-Korogwe water supply project, saying that a joint meeting of all related stakeholders must be convened with immediate effect to discuss way forward.

Mr Aweso made the call after inspecting the project in Mwanga and Same zone areas, saying that its delay was unnecessarily denying the residents their basic rights.

"Our 2015 election manifesto makes it clear that one of the priorities of the fifth-phase government is for the citizens to have access to clean and safe water, but here, I do not see if the goal will be achieved in time with your pace," he said.

Expounding, he said that the government had funded the project at over 600bn/-, but in terms of practical implementation, the project implementers behave as if they are joking instead of being serious.

"This is my fourth visit to inspect this project... what I see today is what I left behind when I lastly visited this same place.

There are no changes of any kind to convince me or any other person that there is hope for the project to be completed on time and this is what makes me think of convening the joint meeting as quick as possible so that the government parts ways with seemingly irresponsible party or parties to pave way for new serious implementer(s)," he said.

Earlier, while in Mwanga District, Kilimanjaro Region Mr Aweso instructed Rural W ater Supply and Sanitation Agency (Ruwasa) authorities to ensure that the public have access to clean and safe water in accordance with the State expectations.

"The concept of the government when establishing the project was to ensure that lack of clean and safe water shouldn't be taken as a tradition or a process... Ruwasa was set up to meet the challenge(s), which has been haunting people in rural areas for many years," he noted.

Speaking during the occasion, Same District Commissioner, Ms Rosemary Senyamule, said that the completion of the Same-Mwanga-Korogwe water supply project would be a great relief to them.

"Here in Same urban for example access to clean and safe water is only 4 7 per cent in comparison to the national policy that an area must have 95 per cent of safe and clean water supply to the residents, so the completion of this project will contribute to cover the remaining 48 per cent deficit," she said.

On his part, Mwanga District Commissioner, Mr Thomas Apson, while briefing the Deputy Minister said that, despite the good work of the project implementer, some residents were also posing a challenge for the timely scheme completion.

"There are some villagers not willing to pay their water bills claiming that water is God given to them as a gift and in the course forget costs incurred to supply them water.

however, what we are doing now is to provide them with education which would enable them to see the essence of paying for water supplied to them, a move that would make the service becomes sustainable," he said.

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