AS the world marks the Environment Day today, the French development agency has renewed its commitment to support improved water supply in Tanzania, highlighting its water and sanitation services project in Mwanza city.
A statement released by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) here on Thursday said, Mwanza is among the cities along Lake Victoria that have received support for water and sanitation services.
AFD has set aside 440 million Euros for the combined Lake Victoria project.
Activities in these projects include infrastructure building as well as technical assistance to ministries and water utilities. AFD also funds water quality monitoring studies on the Lake.
Mwanza is the second largest city in Tanzania after Dar es Salaam and the second most populous city on the lake after Kampala.
Specifically the Mwanza project involves improvement of water supply (production and distribution) and sanitation (collection and treatment) services in Mwanza city itself and satellite towns of Lamadi, Misungwi and Magu.
The 76.5 million Euros project also aims at capacity reinforcement through provision of technical assistance for the water utility in Mwanza (Mwauwasa). Another activity is the monitoring programme on the Lake Victoria water quality.
“The Mwanza project, which was signed in May 2014, is ongoing and is financed through both sovereign loan and grants. It will be conducted in a period of 20 years,” reads part of the statement released to mark the World Environment Day.
In addition to Mwanza, AFD also finances drinking water access for Musoma and Bukoba towns. Bukoba and Musoma do not have collective sanitation systems and the existing one in Mwanza is very limited.
Part of the population uses individual or communal latrines connected to septic tanks that are rarely emptied.
Tanzania has significant water resources, with an average available water supply of 2,000 cubic metres per capita per year in 2012, a level that is expected to reach 1,400 cubic metres in 2025, given population growth.
In 2010, drinking water coverage rates in Tanzania were 68 per cent in Dar es Salaam, 84 per cent in the 19 major cities, 54 per cent in secondary cities and 57 per cent in rural areas. Less than 20 per cent of the urban population was connected to a sewerage system
The Lake Victoria water and sanitation project is crucial because access to clean water is important to people's health. It is even more important in times of Covid-19 crisis, the statement says.
“Sanitation is as important. It is a responsibility we have when we develop access to clean water. Not developing the sanitation part equals endangering the source of drinking water, and destroying the biodiversity of Lake Victoria,” reads the statement in part.
Present in Tanzania since 2008, AFD group is providing financing solutions and technical assistance more than 760 million EUros (Sh1.9 trillion) over the last 10 years, to support the Tanzanian government, local authorities, private sector and NGOs to reduce economic, social and territorial inequalities through the promotion of sustainable and inclusive development.
Focusing on climate, biodiversity, water, agriculture, urban development, education and health, FAD carries out more than 4,000 projects in 115 countries contributing to the commitment of France to support the sustainable development goals.