SINCE coming into power, President John Magufuli’s government has injected over 3tri/- in several mega water projects in an endeavour to address shortage of the precious liquid across the country.
A total of 850,179 connections to new customers have been registered, with government annual earnings from the sector rising to 22bn/-.
This comes at the backdrop of implementation of a number of water projects that boosted the amount of water supply in both rural and urban settings.
President Magufuli stated when dissolving the 11th Parliament that during his first term in power the government has undertaken 1,423 projects, among them, 1,268 were in rural areas and the remaining 155 were in urban places.
Other projects which are still under implementation are Lake Victoria project to tap water from the Lake to Nzega District, Tabora and Igunga, Arusha water project and a project to supply water to 28 cities implemented at a cost of 1.2tri/-.
Those initiatives have made the availability of clean and safe water improved from 47 per cent (2015) to 70.1 per cent (2020) in rural places and 74 per cent (2015) to 84 per cent (2020) in urban areas.
The President noted that at least 3tri/- was spent on water projects countrywide in the past five years, and the recently launched water project in Kisarawe District, Coast region, was the latest one.
“The achievements are implementation of our pledges made in the 2015-2020 Party manifesto,” he stated.
In the 2015-2020 manifesto, the ruling CCM had pledged to continue with efforts to strengthen social services including water, which it argued that this area helps in reducing poverty and increasing employment.
When inaugurating the 11th Parliament in 2015 in Dodoma, the President told the MPs that poor access to clean and safe water was among areas that received lots of complaints from the citizens.
Water Ministry Permanent Secretary, Prof Kitila Mkumbo said in May 2018, the President instructed that supervision of all water sector activities be shifted from local government authorities to the ministry.
Upon this directive, the ministry proposed to the parliament amendments of the law. The parliament endorsed the changes in 2019, and passed new Water Supply and Sanitation Act No. 5.
The amendments made all water-sector-related staff in the local governments report to the ministry's permanent secretary.
“Since these changes occurred implementation of water projects has been at high speed,” Prof Mkumbo noted.
During the period of five years the ministry managed to connect a total of 850,179 new customers, out of which 310,000 are in Dar es Salaam and Coast Region.
He said revenues from the water sector amounted to 22bn/- annually, out of which Dar es Salam Water and Sewerage Authority (Dawasa) alone collects 10bn/- every year.
When tabling the 2020/21 water ministry's budget, the minister for the docket, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said by March this year a total of 575 water sources were identified countrywide.
Out of these sources, 18 were declared and advertised in the Government Gazette
Also, the government has formed 123 water users associations for all nine water valleys countrywide.
During this financial year, the government has planned to declare at least 45 areas as reserved for water sources, and continue preserving the existing water sources and identify new others for the current and future generation.
In line with this, in 2019/20 the ministry identified 157 areas potential for drilling water wells.
These areas are available at valleys including in Ruvuma and Southern Coast region (47), Lake Victoria (31), Lake Rukwa (15), Lake Tanganyika (14), Wami River (12) and Rufiji River (5).