IT was jubilation for Biharamulo District's Kabindi residents as water started flowing when a recently rehabilitated water project was launched by Deputy Minister for Water Maryprisca Mahundi on Sunday.
Kabindi Councillor Philbert Rubula explained that about 50,000 people from six villages would benefit from the project.
He said Kabindi Trading Centre was a fast growing area where traders from different corners had constructed shops and also there were two primary schools and a dispensary that was in the process of being upgraded to a health centre.
For quite a long time women had to walk long distances up to 10km looking for clean water. The project will facilitate development and reduce water borne diseases.
"The nearby dispensary will soon be upgraded to a health centre," he said.
Chairman of Biharamulo District Council Leo Rushahu thanked President John Magufuli for his tireless efforts to improve health among poor Tanzanians.
He explained that water shortages were a pressing issue because most of traditional water sources had dried up or damaged due to increasing human activities.
Biharamulo District Manager for the Rural and Urban Water and Sanitation Agency (Ruwasa) Lucas Matina said water availability in rural areas had reached 71 per cent while in urban areas it was 82 per cent.
"Almost 323,380 residents (about 71 per cent) in Biharamulo District's 75 villages access clean and safe water. This is a great achievement," he said.
Deputy Minister Maryprisca Mahundi explained that the fifth phase government was keen on ensuring all villages got clean and safe water.
"Our target is to ensure that women are relieved of the burden of carrying a bucket of water on their head," she said.
However, she appealed to Tanzanians who accessed tap water to pay their bills on time to enable water projects to be sustainable.
"During the climax of Water Week celebrations on March 22, this year, all projects should have been completed. We will launch the projects on that date countrywide without any further extension of time," she said.
She appealed for team work between Rural and Urban Water Supply Authority (Ruwasa), Lake Victoria Water Basin and Bukoba Urban Water Sanitation Authority (Buwasa).
However, she warned workers to avoid issuing water bills randomly to customers, adding that she recently opposed Ewura's plan of increasing water tariffs until further notice after an evaluation team had completed its task.
She further revealed that the government had set aside over 117bn/- for 17 regions facing critical water shortages, including Kagera Region which was allocated about 9.7bn/-.
Kagera Regional Ruwasa Manager Warioba Sanya informed her that 38 water projects were being implemented, while 19 projects had been completed.
Ms Mahundi, who is on a three-day tour later visited Muleba District, where she inspected some of the water projects that had been delayed for a long time, including Nshamba water project and Bulembo water project in Kamachumu Ward.
She also directed Ruwasa district managers to ensure contractors completed their work on time, warning that there would be no time extension.