LACK of integrity, unpatriotic behaviours and selfishness among some Water Ministry staff have been cited as some hindrances, which delay water projects’ implementation in the country.
Launching the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) on Thursday, the Minister of Water, Prof Makame Mbarawa directed the ministry top management to go to the sites, where projects are being implemented to get the actual picture, unlike their preferred trend of dealing with paper works, adding: “This is forcing the government to decide now to opt for Force Accounts in the implementation of its projects. “Most employees do not want to use Force Accounts, because it drives them away from the commission and ‘per cent’ they get from contractors, hence, we have decided to go for it for value of money,” added Prof Mbarawa.
Explaining, he described to the board a number of case studies, where water projects have become successful.
Equally, he assured them that clean and safe water for rural communities was something possible to attain, except some sabotage including some authorities hiking prices unnecessarily.
“Most projects designed are very poor… consultants have failed us as a result, yet the government spends a lot of financial resources which do not bring the expected outcome, and this is unacceptable,” he pointed out.
The Minister further said: “With such exorbitant pricing, improper engineering estimations and inappropriate evaluations in most of the projects we have visited, even if we are given a 10tr/- budget, we won’t attain our goals, people need to change.”
In his speech, Prof Mbarawa asked his Ministry top managers to change their perceptions and only assign their juniors work in projects, which guarantee expected output in communities.
Equally, he asked the board to closely make a follow up of the projects, adding that the ministry has decided to use its local human resources in water projects’ implementation.
In a related development, Prof Mbawara noted that he was shocked to realise how the government’s money was embezzled when he went through the Bill of Quantity (BOQ) of the water projects, where some price lists were made intentionally unrealistic.
In response, he directed the ministry directors and top management to go to the field, saying: “Go to the field to verify the paper work and the actual situation how do you endorse payment of projects, you are not even sure of what it looks alike, and we are setting budget for the site visits! Do you think I don’t want to take a rest with my family, you have to change,” he said.
The Minister was also irked by the trend, where a single contractor was being assigned more than 18-water projects, only to under-perform and still acquire more to implement, saying: “The situation leaves a lot of questions.”
On his part, Deputy Minister of Water, Mr Jumaa Aweso directed the board to ensure that they have access and clean and safe water provision in rural communities as their first priority in meetings.
In his acceptance speech, the RUWASA Board Chairman, Prof Idris Mshoro said they will be guided by rules and regulations and ensure accountability, integrity, hard work and professional conduct, as they serve the public.