THE culture devised by the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority, DAWASA of self evaluation and timely response to customers’ requests is quite impressive and has earned it credibility.
The Permanent Secretary to the ministry of Water and Irrigation, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, says regular meetings and reaction to periodical reports from all ten Service Regions is likely to offset water challenges in Dar es Salaam.
Addressing the supporting staff of DAWASA on the occasion to mark the climax of a three day planning session in Dar es Salaam recently, which was also graced by the visit of CCM regional party committee members under the chairmanship of Ms Kate Sylvia Kamba, Prof Mkumbo calls for water authorities countrywide to emulate the attitude.
“The commendable practice of regular joint self-assessment meetings by DAWASA has proved successful in addressing water challenges. This made it possible for areas that previously lacked the supply to be covered,” Kitila observes.
Commenting on rapid population growth in Dar es Salaam with corresponding increase of water demand, Prof Mkumbo says the idea of sea water desalination should not be forgotten bearing in mind that water demand would be enormous in 50 years to come.
“In Jeddah Saudi Arabia, for example, a two-billion litre capacity water reservoir has been constructed for guaranteed supply. It doesn’t hurt if our local water engineers start thinking about it as well.
DAWASA enjoys the government trust and this can be taken for consideration as well,’’ he suggests. Construction of Kidunda dam, he adds, is equally of great significance because the water level in Ruvu River, the major supply source, dwindles during dry season only to send seismic worrying signals of reduced supply to millions of consumers in Dar es Salaam and some parts of Coast Region.
At least there are three major sources of water under DAWASA. These include Upper Ruvu Water Treatment Plant, Lower Ruvu (WTP), and Mtoni, the oldest source.
Also there are off-grid community water projects under the sponsorship of DAWASA that also help bridge the gap. The current production level is 544,000 cubic metres a day.
It is estimated that by 2032 water demand in Dar es Salaam will hit 760,000 cubic metres a day and one billion liters of water a day in the next 50 years. Water security is a priority.
DAWASA CEO, Cyprian Luhemeja is equally determined to spearhead water services improvement cause to the convenience of all customers. “DAWASA has ten working regions all monitored by managers who lead a good number of personnel under their leadership.
We meet regularly to seek joint solution to any arising challenge. The monetary discipline is also maintained,” explains Luhemeja. DAWASA regions include Kawe, Ilala, Magomeni, Tabata and Tegeta.
Others are Temeke, Ubungo, Bagamoyo, Kibaha and Kinondoni. The CEO says household connections is underway to increase the number of customers from 285,000 to 326,476 in conjunction with expanded sewerage services from the current 10 per cent served to 30 per cent to enjoy the service.
CCM party delegation which was on its routine site visit to various projects implemented by the government within Dar es Salaam was further informed about the forthcoming launching of a national project known as Off-grid Sanitation System to help address more effectively the challenge of waste water management.
Under the initiative, says Luhemeja, modern sludge collection and treatment facilities will be constructed in Jangwani, Kurasini and Temeke.
The project also involves construction of low-cost modern toilets in addition to community awareness on improvement of environmental cleanliness.
“The ministry has officially authorized DAWASA to take charge of water services in Chalinze under Wami Basin and some parts of Mkuranga District in Coast Region. We will honor the responsibility and deliver accordingly. DAWASA strongly supports the national policy of industrial economy,’’ Luhemeja pledges.
Two major projects that DAWASA has focused on for timely completion include Upper Ruvu –Kisarawe water supply project for residents of Kisarawe, Pugu, Ukonga, Chanika, Kiwalani, Majohe among others.
The other project lined up for completion is the 20- deep well water project located in Mpera and Kimbiji on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.
This project is expected to offset the growing demand due to population increase and construction of industries that need water in large volume. The CCM delegates got a chance to visit the project site which is located in Kisarawe II ward in Kigamboni District.
Before led to a guided tour to Mpera and Kimbiji, CCM Dar es Salaam party Chairperson, Kate Kamba expressed appreciation for achievements recorded by DAWASA in the recent past. She says places that previously missed the supply including Makongo, Kimara, Changanyikeni now enjoy running water and showers.
“I remember the time we queued with buckets the whole night waiting for water to come out in Dar es Salaam. But that was the past. Water is plenty. It is important that knowledge on rain water harvesting is shared to the people to increase water security for domestic consumption,’’ Kamba suggests.
As for financial prudence, the chairperson commended DAWASA for setting aside 35 per cent of own source (income) to finance water projects instead of solely depend on development partners.
“It is amazing and quite impressive the way you (DAWASA), penetrate the ‘chocked’ alleyways in unplanned settlements to enhance household water connections,’’ Kamba observes.
Adding; “This is great but additional efforts are necessary to make sure that all residents in areas yet to be reached out enjoy the supply accordingly.
In the course of time, technology will help reduce costs involved in sea water desalination process as proposed by Prof Kitila Mkumbo. In Songosongo this has been done though in small scale but to prove that desalination is possible,’’ Kate concludes.