Tanzania: How Covid-19 Relief Funds Improved Services

Dodoma — THE government has managed to improve and increase availability of social services through the execution of various projects under the Covid-19 Socioeconomic Response Plan and Recovery Plan.

Various projects have been implemented under the plan through a concessional loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) aimed at mitigating the effects of the pandemic, stimulating growth and preserving macroeconomic stability.

Speaking on Wednesday, while presenting a report on monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Covid-19 Socio-economic Response and Recovery Plan, Professor Henry Mollel from Mzumbe University said that success has been recorded in education, health, tourism, water and social protection sectors.

The government received 1.3tri/- as free interest loan from IMF and decided to use the funds in development projects with the aim of improving and increasing availability of the services.

"The monitoring and evaluation carried out by the Ministry of Finance and Planning through Mzumbe University has discovered that implementation of the plan has been very successful," Prof Mollel said.

He noted that out of the funds, some 448.8bn/- was allocated t for construction, renovation, purchase and installation of medical equipment and supporting employment of health personnel.

"The government has succeeded to construct 72 intensive care units, 101 emergency medical departments, 178 staff houses, purchase of 130 medical equipment and machines, purchase of 663 vehicles, 517 motorcycles, construction of seven Out Patient Departments (OPD) and maternity, wards as well as construction of 16 telemedicine centres," he said.

He added that through the funds, the government has also managed to employ 137 health personnel and conduct short-term training to 476 workers in Emergency Services and Special Care at referral and regional hospitals.

Prof Mollel explained that 139.4bn/- allocated for Water sector was used to implement various projects aimed at improving the service in urban and rural areas. A total of 25.3bn/- was allocated for urban water projects, 79.12bn/- for rural water projects and 34.92bn/- for purchase of equipment.

"218 projects targeted to be implemented in urban and rural water services have been implemented with an average of 75 to 98 percent where 25 borehole drilling rigs and accessories were purchased, nine investigation and construction equipment were also purchased, 46 urban water and 172 rural water projects were implemented too," said Prof Mollel.

He further noted that in education sector 368.9 bn/- was allocated and it has helped in construction of 12,000 secondary schools and 3,000 primary school classrooms, 50 dormitories which are in final stages of completion.

The funds were also used in construction of four vocational training centres in Rukwa, Njombe, Geita and Simiyu regions, which have been completed.

"The funds channeled to the education sector has been spent in construction of vocational training centres in 25 districts, the work is final stage of completion and the implementation of the project to rehabilitate four vocational colleges for people with disabilities has reached 57.5 per cent," he said.

He said that 90.2bn/- was allocated for tourism sector and it has been used in various projects including the construction of roads with a total of 2,381.5 kilometers which has reached 85 percent, the purchase of 55 vehicles, construction of 14 gates, construction of four information centers, various Airports maintenance and conducting training for 1,787 inquisitive instructors.

Dr Mollel added that in the tourism sector the launch of the Royal Tour film was among the projects and it has been completed as well as training of quality assessors and the grading of accommodation service providers has already been done.

He said that 5.54bn/- was set aside for Social Protection Sector to support poor households and a total of 114,714 households, which were severely affected by Covid-19 benefited from the funds.

Receiving the information, Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Hamad Chande, said that the Covid-19 funds have touched almost all fields and sectors in all 26 regions.

He noted that the presentation has provided an opportunity to learn the basics as well as showing the great importance of the concept of responsibility and participation.

"This money seemed to be small but it has touched all the important sectors in our 184 councils, we thank the University of Mzumbe for this information because it has given us the opportunity to learn and be informed" he said.

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