MOST Dar es Salaam residents will have access to safe and clean water by nex t year, thank s to the government’s signing of six water project agreements worth 114bn/- on Tuesday.
Not only that, Mlandizi, Chalinze, Kisarawe and Mkuranga residents in Coast Region will also benefit f rom the projects. It is estimated that the six projects will benefit at least 1.9 million residents and industries.
The projects will also increase water availability from 8 5 - 90 per cent by next year.
This is according to Water Minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa, who witnessed the signing of the six water project agreements between Dar es Salaam Sewerage Authority (Dawasa) and contractors and suppliers of construction materials.
Access to safe and clean water is at the heart of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 6 ( SDG6) , which calls for availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.
SDG6 has six targets, three of which are related to drink ing, water supply and sanitation. That is by 203 0, achieve universal and eq uitable access to safe and aff ordable drink ing water for all.
The other two targets provide that by 2030, achieve and access to adeq uate and eq uitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations and by 2030, improve water q uality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
There are water projects too in other parts of the country to ensure all Tanzanians have access to safe and clean water and minimise diseases related to drink ing or using unsafe water.
Improving access to safe and clean water translates also into increasing tax collection. After having safe and clean projects in place our obligation is to maintain them to ensure their sustainability.
This is due to the fact that climate change to some parts of the world are going to experience water scarcity due to an increase in desertification, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
Some reports estimate that desertification may aff ect up to 5 0 million African people by 2020. The reports say that since 1923, Sahara Desert has expanded by 10 per cent, aff ecting especially the Sahel region and it continues expanding.
However, thank s to The Great Green Wall, established in 2007, there are eff orts to mitigate the ex pansion of desertification on the continent. The Great Green Wall, which is an African-led movement to grow a wall of trees (8 ,000k m long) across the African continent, is expected to change the lives of millions of sub-Saharan Africans.
It is in light of this, that it is good to k eep in mind that, while the government f acilitates access to safe and clean water supply, we are duty-bound to maintain the projects and protect our environment through our participation in the mitigation of desertification in sub-Saharan Africa so that we won’t in the future suff er from water crisis.
Let’s do it right now!