Install prepaid water metres nationwide, Samia orders

DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan on Thursday directed the Ministry of Water to install prepaid water meters across the country to address the concerns raised by public regarding inconsistencies between water consumption and monthly charges.

The directive came during an official ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam, where President Samia swore in several leaders, including a Minister, Deputy Ministers, Regional Commissioner, Chief Registrar of the Judiciary of Tanzania and a Judge of the High Court.

In her address, she emphasised the need for transparent and efficient water billing practices, drawing parallels with the successful implementation of prepaid meters by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco).

“I direct that you do as Tanesco does, using pre-paid meters. Look for those, it will resolve long-standing complaints about water billing in Tanzania.” President Samia stated.

She further stated, “I understand that you have already placed orders for the meters, but the Weights and Measures Agency (WMA) has identified some minor flaws. These issues must be promptly addressed. Proceed with the installation of these meters for the benefit of citizens, instilling confidence in them regarding payment for their water usage, while also fostering a culture of water conservation.”

Dr Samia specifically assigned the new Deputy Minister for Water, Kundo Mathew, the responsibility to ensure efficient water service delivery, in line with the commitments outlined in the CCM election manifesto. The manifesto pledges to connect 95 per cent of urban areas and 85 per cent of rural areas to water services by next year.

Before the new post, Mr Kundo was the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology.

“For Dar es Salaam, we will reach 100 per cent if we manage to complete the peripheral areas, but in other cities, we’ll reach 97/98 per cent. In rural areas, we are confident we’ll reach 87 per cent. Manage all water projects well,” President Samia noted.

This is not the first time President Samia has directed the ministry to consider prepaid metres. In 2022 at the climax of Water Week, she issued the same directives after launching the Water App and Unified Billing System (UBS).

Last month, water minister Jumaa Aweso told the parliament that Arusha water authorities have already installed 345 prepaid water metres at various public institutions, schools, health centres and households within the city.

President Samia also tasked the new Deputy Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Maryprisca Mahundi, with overseeing the rollout of the Jamii Namba initiative. This initiative aims to provide every Tanzanian with a unique identification number, addressing the issue of multiple identity cards and ensuring a streamlined identification system.

“I already directed the ministry to make sure each Tanzanian have a unique identification number for the whole which will uniquely identify Tanzanians from birth and foreigners from entry to exit, it is not appropriate for one person to have three identities”.

President Samia issued a directive on August 10, 2023, to establish a universal identification number system. She expressed frustration over the proliferation of multiple identity numbers used to identify Tanzanians, including birth certificate numbers, national identity numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, health insurance numbers, tax identity numbers, and others.

“There are numerous identity cards in our country. Whether you visit banks or hospitals, you encounter different sets of information about individuals. Can we streamline these identities and establish a unified identity for each individual?” President Samia questioned.

Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango stressed the significance of environmental preservation, noting its impact on every individual, even within the judicial system.

“Hence, we must ensure the restoration of the environment to its natural state to facilitate the ongoing prosperity of our nation,” he emphasised.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa echoed President Samia’s call for dedicated service and emphasised the importance of fulfilling the goals set forth by the President and the CCM manifesto.

“Let us unite and work together to achieve President Samia’s objectives and uphold the implementation of the CCM manifesto. I trust that you are familiar with the fundamental principles of our service—integrity in our work ethic, and honesty in all our endeavours within our offices. These are the high standards expected by the President,” he remarked.

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