THE construction of a $450m (about 103.56bn/-) a mega dam project at Farkwa in Chemba District to supply water in Dodoma Region is expected to kick off in early January next year.
The project, which had stalled for almost 60 years, will finally kick off as the government starts compensating over 2,000 villagers on Tuesday next week.
According to Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Water, Prof Kitila Mkumbo, after compensation, the villagers of Mombose and Bubutole will only have 90 days to relocate to pave the way for the implementation of the ambitious project which will benefit the residents of Chemba, Bahi and Dodoma districts.
This means villagers of Mombose and Bubutole in Chemba District will in the next five days breathe a sigh of relief after spending at least four years without any investments in their areas, only to wait for compensation before they relocate to other areas to pave the way for the construction of the dam.
The pay master general has already disbursed about 7.7bn.-to the Ministry of Water, which will be used as compensation to about 2,868 villagers from the two villages.
Yesterday Prof Mkumbo told the ‘Daily News’ that the cost of the project and the entire network of water distribution was $450m.
On Tuesday evening Chemba District Commissioner (DC), Simon Odunga and his team arrived in Chemba District to assure the villagers that after ongoing final verification the villagers would start receiving compensation from October 15-31, this year.
Farkwa Dam Project is one of the major projects designed in 1959, but was not implemented.
When Tanzania gained independence in 1961, the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere brought it back on the list of main projects although it was not implemented either.
Sixty years later, the project will be implemented early next year.
Prof Mkumbo appointed a team of officials who from Tuesday started verification of all requisite documents and after that the money would be deposited in the villagers’ NMB Bank accounts.
The team is led by Engineer Kalunde Malale from the Ministry of Water Headquarters in Dodoma.
Accompanied by Chemba MP Juma Nkamia, the Chemba DC assured the villagers of their security after being compensated and asked them to use the money well so that it could benefit them.
“You only have 90 days to prepare yourselves for relocation. After that you will be required to vacate your current villages to pave the way for the construction of Farkwa Dam which will supply water in the three districts of Bahi, Chemba and Dodoma Capital City,” he said.
‘Daily News’ reporters in the two villages witnessed villagers in a long queue waiting to open bank accounts after a NMB Bank team from Kondoa Branch camped in the villages to help them have bank accounts after a directive that no money would be received in cash except through the villagers’ NMB Bank accounts.
“I know nothing about a bank account because since I was born I have never opened any. I think these people (bank staff) have to educate us about how we will withdraw our money from the bank accounts,” said a 67-year old man, Mr Oyam Yassin, who is the chairman of Farkwa Pastoralist Association.
The PS had directed the villagers to relocate so that the implementation of the project could kick off “The government has already set aside the money for the project and already my ministry has received it from the Treasury. What is remaining is a team of engineers in the ministry to prepare a schedule for the work to start,” said Prof Mkumbo when he visited the villagers recently.
He urged local leaders to prepare the villagers psychologically and tell them the truth that after they pocket their compensation, that they should vacate immediately so as construction can begin immediately without delay.