Come up with national water master plan, Bunge committee demands

THE Parliamentary Standing Committee for Water and Environment has directed the Ministry of Water to come up with the National Water Master Plan for increased efficiency in water projects.

Moreover, the ministry should also set up the national water grid for improved service delivery of the clean and safe water in the country.

Presenting the recommendation on the Water Ministry budget for the 2023/24 financial year in National Assembly here on Tuesday, the committee Chairperson, Mr Jackson Kiswaga also called upon the ministry to come up with an exchange programme among experts for active dispensation of the projects.

The committee also advised the ministry to put in place infrastructures countrywide for rainy water harvesting for assurance of reserve during the dry spells.

Mr Kiswaga said the move needs a comprehensive strategy which must involve other water sector stakeholders.

The strategy, the committee said, must involve public awareness on rainwater harvesting as well have in place the needed infrastructures.

To make it more effective, Mr Kiswaga said the government must carry out the architectural designing especially of the public building, budget allocation for the harvest and construction of water reserve dams and tanks.

“Special attention should be in areas with heavy rains in most part of the year, to protect the road and railway infrastructures, which are affected during the rainy seasons,” he said.

The committee also urged the government to timely disburse the funds endorsed for the strategic projects for timely implementation of the water projects.

Moreover, he said, since strategic water projects need a lot of financial resources; the government should see how best they can raise the funds from other sources through proposal write ups from development stakeholders.

The committee said the government must come up with a smooth tax exemption system, to avoid delays of the strategic projects completion as well to fasten employment of water experts to fill in the 854 gaps for improved efficiency.

Moreover, the government must enforce laws and regulations giving priorities to villages in which water projects infrastructures pass through their areas.

The committee was impressed by the disbursement of  allocated budget from the finance and planning ministry citing in the 2022/23 financial year, the strategic and development projects was availed with 85 per cent of the allocation, raising hopes that they will be completed within specified time.

They commended the ministry for efficiency in control, monitoring and implementation of the projects thus meeting the government targets for distribution of safe and clean water including 85 per cent in rural communities and 95 in urban areas by 2025 as stated in CCM-election manifesto.

During their inspection of various projects, Mr Kiswaga told the House that they were satisfied with the construction pace, especially the water sector development projects.

Also involvement of communities in projects has developed a sense of ownership among them thus being part and parcel for the protection and sustainability.

The ministry has been recommended to see how best they can involve the public in protection of water sources.

The committee has paid a special tribute to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for endorsing funds for the implementation of the water projects but also the government decision to use local contractors in projects and they have proved competent to meet the needed standards.

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