WATER undoubtedly forms an essential part of human life. And, despite Tanzania being endowed by many water bodies such as lakes, dams, ocean, wells and springs just but to mention a few, there is hardly enough for human domestic use.
The provision of safe water in the country has been a challenge from time immemorial despite the government’s efforts in addressing the problem. Though rural areas are the hardest hit as women and children are forced to travel long distances to fetch and draw the precious liquid, urban areas are no exception.
A lot of scandals and irregularities, however, have been hogging water provision in some areas in the country. Where water projects are implemented, some contractors have been accused of doing a shoddy job, whereby they do not either complete the projects or use cheap material.
In some cases water authorities have been suffering massive water losses through thefts and leaking pipes, while other water projects never saw the light of the day through unfaithful officials who embezzle funds.
And, of late, Dodoma Municipality is one of the areas to be hit by the problem of funds meant for water projects being embezzled. The Dodoma Municipal Mayor, Jafari Mwanyemba, was recently ousted following allegations of embezzling funds meant for Zuzu water project.
Besides the charges of misusing 30.5m/-, Mwanyemba faced abuse of power, restriction of councillors’ freedom of expression and opinion and deliberate deception of councilors among others. The Mayor was ousted by an 85.5 percent vote of no confidence against him.
This is an important step towards bringing sanity in the implementation of projects. Those accused or found to have abused funds meant for projects in the country should be brought to book. Now that the Mayor has been ousted, and not only for him, but also all those who would have been found to have abused projects funds, the law should take its own course.
Those who either do shoddy jobs or embezzle funds for water projects should be brought to book as a way to deter officials from such social anomaly.
The greed by a few people should not make people suffer as they fail to get clean water, while funds for such projects would have been availed. Many urban and rural councils should borrow a leaf from Dodoma and bring to book all the officials who abuse funds meant for water projects.
The recipients of the projects should also hold implementers of such projects accountable. Wherever they smell a rat, they should always raise alarm with relevant authorities so that necessary steps can be taken and safeguard public funds.
Water is an important element in human existence and nothing should stand between it and its availability to humanity.
It is imperative that we join hands in making sure that government efforts to provide clean and safe water to its people are not hindered by unscrupulous officials bent on reaping where they did not sow.