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Massive boost for local govt

Massive boost for local govt

THE government has approved 535.63bn/- from 1.3tri/- relief package released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to finance education, health and improve business infrastructures for small scale traders.

Announcing the detailed blueprint on how 535.63 bn /- would be spent at the local government authorities, Minister of State in the President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government, Ummy Mwalimu said the fund would stimulate economy in sectors which have been mostly affected by Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Mwalimu said that the amount allocated for local authorities is equivalent to 41 per cent of the total loan facility.

According to the  minister some 304bn/-  of the fund would go to primary education, 226.68bn/-  for  primary health  care  and 5bn/- for improving  infrastructure  and  business environment for small scale traders.

"The funds have been channeled to priority areas, which touch individual citizens’ lives to increase access to health care and education services and economic empowerment of our citizens and protect them against Coronavirus,” she noted.

Elaborating further, the minister said government plans to build 12,000 classrooms at the cost of 240bn/-in secondary schools as preparations for enrolling 1,022,936 Form One students in January next year is underway.

She added that the construction of 12,000 classrooms will ease accommodation of 600,000 students and address classrooms’ shortage by 100 per cent in secondary schools.

“This will be the first time in country's history where by all students who qualified for ordinary level education will report to school without delay as a result of classrooms’ shortages,” she said.

The minister added that plans were also underway to build 3,000 classrooms in some 970 Satellite Schools at the cost of 60bn/- to enable 135,000 pupils to get classrooms.

MS Ummy further said that the completion of classrooms will go together with the purchase of 45,000 desks to be used by 135,000 pupils in some 143 District Councils in Tanzania Mainland.

Equally, she said the construction of the new classrooms will reduce overcrowding of students and in turn lower risks of contracting Covid-19 and as well provide better teaching and learning environment for teachers and students respectively.

Furthermore, she said the government has set aside 4bn/- for the construction of 50 dormitories at 80m/- each to benefit at least 4,000 students.

On the health sector, the government is committed to improving provision of health services by constructing 75 emergency medical departments (EMDs) in 75 district councils.

Moreover, she said, they will also build 25 intensive care units (ICU) in 25 district councils and equip them with all necessary equipment.

They will as well build oxygen plants and 73 distribution machines in accident prone areas and those which face frequent disease outbreaks.

Part of the fund, she said will be spent to purchase 60 X-ray machines to be dispatched to various places.

She observed that all the 184 district councils in the country are set to benefit from the plan to purchase also 195 ambulances to be distributed to the marginalized health centers.

To beef up health services, the minister said the government will purchase 212 vehicles to be used in coordination of  health, social and nutrition services in 184 district councils in the 26 regions in the country.

The minister added that part of the fund will be channeled for the construction of 116, residential house for 348 health workers.

The government will also purchase 2,208 hospital beds and bed sheets, 60 fridges for blood storage and others.

In empowering small business enterprises, the minister said a total of 5bn/- has been set aside to improve infrastructures, adding that the money will be disbursed through a competitive approach.

She explained that regional and district commissioners in collaboration with local authority committees should prepare write-ups and only those, who meet the criteria, shall be funded.

The minister, however, banned Regional Commissioners (RCs) and District Executive Director (DEDs) from leaving their respective working areas without approval from the President, Vice-President or Prime Minister’s office for timely implementation of the projects.

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Author: NELLY MTEMA in Dodoma

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