Tanzania: Herculean Water Plan Underway

THE government has unveiled a strategy designed to end water blues, including introduction of a 1.45tri/- programme covering 1,810 projects across the country.

Moving his ministry's 2013/14 budget estimates, the Minister for Water, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, said the three-year programme (2013/14-2015) is code named 'Big Results Now.'

"Upon its completion, there will be an increase of 15.4 million people living in rural areas who will have access to water. "This will raise the number of people with access to water from 57 per cent at present to 75 by 2015," the minister stated. He stated further that works to be involved in the programme include rehabilitation and expansion of projects and infrastructure.

Others are increasing the number of water kiosks and put in place an effective system of water infrastructure maintenance and availability of spare parts. Prof Maghembe told the National Assembly that the government would in the next financial year carry out Dar es Salaam water emergency plan targeting to increase water supply from 300m litres to 700m litres per day.

He said the Kidunda water dam would be constructed to ensure sufficient and reliable water throughout the year at River Ruvu and production of 20MW. "Compensation for residents of the area to pave way for the construction of the dam will be made next month and construction will start this year after completion of compensation and a road leading to the site," he noted.

On drilling of 20 wells at Kimbiji and Mpera, the minister said that the contractor had already been picked and actual drilling would start in July, this year and accomplished by July, next year. "Preliminary projection is to draw 260m litres from these wells by next year.

The government will continue to make underground water assessment and compensate people around the project," Prof Maghembe said. The minister noted further that the expansion of Ruvu Upper plant targeting to increase capacity from 82m litres to 196m litres per day would commence in July, this year.

"Construction of main pipeline due for expansion at Ruvu Lower plant has started and will be complete by February, 2014," he assured the august House. Prof Maghembe further told the House that the government would this year start implementing a project of supplying water to 100 villages located 12km within Kahama-Shinyanga water project.

According to him, about 308,738 villagers will be beneficiaries of the project upon its completion. The minister hinted that the government has set aside 100m/- as seed money for establishment of National Water Investment Fund, whose regulations will be gazetted any time from now.

Meanwhile, MPs have raised red flag over meagre budget for water sector, calling on the government to move supplementary budget of over 180bn/- to tackle challenges facing the sector. MPs, irrespective of their political affiliations joined chorus of demanding hefty increase of the budget or face the consequences.

Presenting a report of Parliamentary Committee for Agriculture, Livestock and Water on ministry of water 2013/14 budget estimates, the Committee Vice-Chairman, Mr Said Nkumba said the government should boost the budget by 184.5bn/-. The government has proposed for 398bn/- expenditure, out of which 379bn/- is on development expenditure and 18.9bn/- for recurrent votes.

The committee argued that such amount was insignificant considering magnitude of programmes to be implemented and requirements of the sector. The committee, therefore, recommended that 65bn/- extra (from 184.5bn/-) be injected to Rural Water Supply Programme by increasing two to three villages to each council in the country.

According to the committee, extra 13bn/- should be channelled to the construction of water supply infrastructures from 10 water dams constructed in drought stricken districts. "By increasing villages, the number of beneficiaries will reach 980,000 by June 2014. And construction of water supply infrastructures will benefit 480,000 people and their herds." argued Mr Nkumba.

Other allocations as proposed by the committee is construction of pumps and pipes from deep wells (11.2bn/-), construction, rehabilitation and expansion of water infrastructures (10.8bn/-) and construction of new water supply projects (8bn/-).

Others are designing and construction of Ugala-Urambo-Kaliua water project (12.1bn/-) and other water projects listed in the ministry's budget (53.5bn/-). The committee noted that the proposed allocations will benefit a total of 3,154,000 people by June, next year.

However, the committee commended the government for reducing VAT on water treatment chemicals from 18 to 9.9 per cent, urging the government to make them zero rated. The Opposition also called on the government to increase the budget from 397.4bn/- to 529bn/-.

Deputy Spokesperson of the Opposition, Agriculture, Livestock and Water, Ms Cecilia Paresso said the budget was very minimal as it represents only 2 per cent of the national budget.

Source : allafrica.com

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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