Tanzania: President Orders 500m/ – Loan to Water Authority

AS the government seeks to increase access of water to Tanzanians, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has directed the Ministry of Water to provide a loan of 500m/- to Kyaka-Bunazi Water Authority to enable the utility to connect water to new customers on credit basis.

President Samia issued the directive on Thursday in Misenyi District, Kagera region, during the launch of Kyaka-Bunazi water project that was constructed at a cost of 15.7bn/-.

The state-of-the art water project is the only project which sources the precious liquid directly from Kagera River and it is expected to serve over 65,000 residents in 1,000 households of the district and surrounding areas.

“This project will be a relief to residents who have been facing water woes in this area. I call upon the ministry to provide a loan of 500m/- to the water authority of this project to enable it connect water to customers on credit,” she directed.

Ms Samia was however quick to urge the residents to ensure they pay their water bills after water has been connected to their households, so that the funds can be used for operation and maintenance of the water project.

“You should as well make sure that you preserve water sources and protect the water infrastructure so that the project can be sustainable,” she urged.

President Samia also turned her gun on billing officials from water and sanitation authorities and warned them against over-billing water customers in their respective areas.

Before implementation of the project, water access in Kyaka-Bunazi was below 20 per cent, and residents depended mostly on water from boreholes which is salty, according to Minister for Water, Mr Jumaa Aweso.

According to Mr Aweso, the cost for construction of the project would have shot beyond 25bn/- if it was executed by a contractor alone but a team of experts from the ministry did some of the work which eventually reduced its costs.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water, Engineer Anthony Sanga was impressed that allocation of budget for implementation of water project reached 95 per cent during the current financial year from between 50 and 60 per cent in the past.

“If we go by this pace we would have completed a lot of water projects which are on the pipeline across the country,” Eng Sanga remarked.

Just recently at the State House in Dodoma, President Samia witnessed signing of water projects to cover 28 urban centres through a financing amounting to 1.073tri/- from EXIM Bank of India.

The Head of State was equally impressed that execution of the new projects will add the percentage of Tanzanians with supply of safe and clean water towards the target of supplying the precious liquid to 95 and 85 per cent in urban and rural areas, respectively, by the year 2025.

Water access in urban areas is currently at 86 per cent but implementation of the new projects will add eight per cent and thus bringing the total percentage of people with safe water to 94 per cent.

Likewise in rural areas the percentage is at 74 per cent but the government is undertaking over 1,000 projects which will add four per cent to 78 per cent upon their completion.

President Samia said the government will continue to source funds from its own basket in addition to bilateral and multilateral partners to undertake development initiatives like water projects, among others.

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