Drainage systems in Zanzibar to improve basic services

FOR many years, Fatma Abdallah and her family had lived at Kwa Rama in Unguja with fear during rainy seasons.

Every rainy season, their houses usually get flooded with water, and they are forced to seek for shelter elsewhere for months until the rainy seasons elapses.

Apart from this disoriented kind of life she had with her family, they lost a lot of property, and those who happened to remain behind faced diseases like malaria and cholera.

This, however, has become history, thanks to a storm water drainage system that has been constructed throughout the Zanzibar Urban area by Zanzibar Urban Services Project (ZUSP) under the Ministry of Finance and Planning of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, led by President Dr Ali Mohammed Shein.

The drainage system has so far forestalled the perennial flooding that was a big challenge to Zanzibar for years. ZUSP is the first World Bank project in Zanzibar which supports urban projects with the main objective of improving access to urban services in Zanzibar and conserve the physical cultural heritage at one public location within Stone Town.

The project has three main components, namely Institutional Strengthening and Infrastructure Development in the Zanzibar Municipal Council (ZMC), Support to Town Councils on Pemba Island, and Project Management. ZUSP was prepared in response to a request received from the government of Tanzania in July 2008 to assist in the improvement and development of services in ZMC and the three Town Councils on Pemba Island.

ZUSP is also consistent with the current urban and local government lending pipeline and the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) of the World Bank (WB) in Tanzania, where specific municipal investments are being put in place together with parallel initiatives funded directly by the Bank or other development partners who deal with local government policy and institutional change.

ZUSP has been implemented between 2011 and 2019, and is expected to be complete by June next year. With a total funding of US $93 million, ZUSP investments provide improved access to basic services to nearly 400,000 beneficiaries through various infrastructure investments, including over 20 kilometer of constructed surface drains.

A new landfill of 425,000 cubic meters’ capacity constructed and equipped, over 11 kilometer of new street lighting installed, a 340 meter sea wall and seaside promenade constructed, as well as other urban upgrading schemes.

ZUSP’s Project Development Objective (PDO) is to improve access to urban services in Zanzibar and conserve the physical cultural heritage at one public location within Stone Town. This will be achieved by: (a) provision of storm water drainage within ZUMC outside of the Stone Town; (b) collection and transportation of solid waste; and (c) construction of the Mizingani sea wall and associated promenade within Stone Town.

The project has three components. One was to strengthen institutional capacity of the Zanzibar Urban Municipal Council (ZUMC) and has developed infrastructure such as surface water drainage systems, solid waste collection and transportation, street lights and a sea wall, including a promenade within the World Heritage City location of Stone Town.

Component two has supported the Town Councils of Chake Chake, Mkoani and Wete on Pemba Island by strengthening their institutional capacity through identification and implementation of simple and small investments. Component three will support project management.

However, the ZUSP project has invested in more infrastructural needs. Currently in Pemba, residents expect to benefit from a 6.3bn/-billion street lighting project that is already underway. Residents of Pemba are to benefit from a solar street lighting project along a total of 17.4 kilometer of roads in three districts of the Island.

This is thanks to the Zanzibar Urban Services Project (ZUSP), under the Zanzibar Ministry of Finance and Planning which has started installing the solar street lighting and landscaping. The project is being implemented in three Pemba Town Councils of Chake Chake, Mkoani and Wete at a total cost of 6.28bn/-.

The project will be ready in 12 months. According to the ZUSP Coordinator, Makame Ali Makame, the project started on May 9, 2019 and is expected to be complete by May 8, 2020. “The project covers three roads, including three Town Council roads.

These are Wete area –7.4 kilometers, Chake Chake area –5.6 kilometers, and Mkoani area – 4.4 kilometers. The roads will be fully provided with double arm lights and single arm lights in some locations,” said Makame while commenting on the progress of the project. He added, “The government expects that the street lights will increase safety for road users (both pedestrians and motorists) and increase the number of business hours in the three Town Councils.

This, by extension, can have an impact on the economy,” he said He said this particular street lighting project in Pemba is part of the larger ZUSP project which has various components of ongoing developments, adding that some of the projects have already been implemented while others are still going on in both Pemba and Unguja.

Added Mr Makame, “The multibillion street lighting project in Pemba will help hundreds of thousands of Pemba residents to go about their daily businesses in a safer environment, even in late hours, and thus have impact on the economy,”.

He concluded that this is a continuation of other projects they have implemented in Pemba, which include foot paths steps along hilly areas that lead to schools and other communities, storm water drainage system, a modern market building and a bus station, construction of a modern abattoir, an office building for Chake Chake Town Council, and institutional support to Wete, Chake Chake and Mkoani districts.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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