The Managing Director of KASHWASA, Eng Clement Kivegalo told the 'Daily News' on Monday during an exclusive interview that the Authority is essentially charged with the responsibility of operating the water supply scheme. "The Government funded the construction of a huge water supply scheme from the Lake Victoria to Shinyanga and Kahama towns and to 39 villages in Misungwi, Kwimba, Kahama and Shinyanga districts," says the Managing Director.
Eng Kivegalo says the scheme was initially designed to cater for 420,000 people by supplying 80,000,000 litres of water per day. Taking into consideration that the demand for water keeps on increasing, provisions were made in the design to increase the capacity to 1,000,000 people consuming 120,000,000 litres of water per day, by the year 2025.
It is also important to note that the feasibility study and design of the scheme started in April 2003 and construction commenced in March, 2004. The scheme was substantially completed in December 2008 at the cost of 254/-bn, and it was inaugurated on 30th May, 2009 by His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, and its operation commenced in February 2009.
Following the construction of the water scheme, the Tanzania goverment through the Ministry of Water, established the new entity known as Kahama Shinyanga Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (KASHWASA) to operate the scheme and sell water to other water entities, as per Government Notice No. 45 of 23rd February 2007.
The establishment of KASHWASA was in accordance with the Waterworks Act. Cap. 272."KASHWASA is based in Shinyanga Municipality and main customers include the Shinyanga Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Kahama Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and 41 village water committees located in Misungwi and Kwimba Districts in Mwanza region," says Eng Kivegalo.
The scheme stretches southwards from the Lake Victoria at Smith Sound Bay in Misungwi District to Shinyanga and Kahama towns. The water plant is located at Ihelele sub-village in Misungwi District, some 120km northwest of Shinyanga Municipality and 110 km southwest of Mwanza City.
The treatment plant is located at 3.3 km from the raw water pump station, which is about 100m from the lake shore.
Eng Kivegalo further explains that the water production employs a conventional treatment process whereby the water from the Lake undergoes four major stages of treatment before it is considered fit for human consumption. The stages include coagulation, sedimentation, filteration and disinfection.
For effective coagulation and disinfection, the Authority uses Poly Aluminium Chloride (PAC) and liquified chlorine gas, respectively."The storage tank is located at an altitude of about 380m. The water from the storage tank flows downwards following the law of gravity with 40 pressure bars placed along the distribution pipeline which covers a total length of 203 km. The size of the pipe, made out of steel varies from 700 mm (28 inches) to 1,200mm (48 inches) diameter," he explained.
Shinyanga and Kahama towns, have rectangular storage tanks which receive water by gravity from the main storage tank at Ihelele. Each tank has a capacity of 18,000,000 litres. Additionally, in both towns there are post chlorination centres for online monitoring of chlorine residual to ensure that it is always within the acceptable range to safeguard water from any pathogenic organisms. This is done before the water gets into the tanks, says Eng Kivegalo.
"Our relationship with customers is governed by what we call the Bulk Water Purchase Agreements signed by both parties.Currently, more than 90 per cent of water we supply is consumed by urban customers and the remaining portion 10 per cent is consumed by the rural customers. And KASHWASA is regulated by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authorities (EWURA)", says Eng Kivegalo.
KASHWASA's vision states that the Authority strives to be the best and most reliable utility for supply of clean and safe bulk water, while its mission is to provide safe, adequate, sustainable and affordable bulk water service to various entities located in both rural and urban areas.
Currently, the Authority serves a population of 400,000 people covering Shinyanga Municipality, Kahama town and 41 villages located in Misungwi, Kwimba, Shinyanga and Kahama Districts. The average demand for water is estimated to be 31,000,000 litres per day, while the consumption for all customers currently stands at an average of 18,000,000 litres per day.
"This is a very serious challenge for us as we are obliged to bear all fixed costs at only 23 per cent consumtion level", says Eng Kivegalo. The only way to address this challenge is by connecting more customers and escalate the consumption of water to at least 50 per cent of the installed capacity", adds the Managing Director.
"The difference in water demand and the actual consumption is due to the fact that the distribution network especially in rural areas is not adequate to cover the entire population within a walking distance of 400 from the water point, as per the National Water Policy 2002. Each village has only one public kiosk which serves a maximum of 500 people per day," says Eng Kivegalo.
The Managing Director says at the onset of the scheme operation in 2009, KASHWASA confronted a number of serious challenges. These included inadequate staffing, lack of technical skills by staff to operate and carry-out maintenance of sophisticated mechanical and electrical systems.
"Despite all such challenges, to date, with almost three years in business, KASHWASA supplies its customers with adequate, clean and safe bulk water at an average 24-hour service level. A total of 63 professional members of staff have been employed and most of them are in the technical department and they have tremendously improved their skills in managing their duties pertaining to the operations, maintenance and repair of the mechanical and electrical systems.
One of the KASHWASA's major achivements since its inception, include, the improvement of security as it is reported that the number of incidences of serious vandalism of the main distribution pipeline has gone down from 14 incidents in the financial 2009/2010 to two in the financial years 2010/2011. This considerable achievement is a result of collaboration between KASHWASA and other stakeholders including the regional and district authorities, says the Managing Director.
Eng Kivegalo also says KASHWASA's dependence on government subsidy for recurrent expenditure has also gone down tremendously from the initial 79 per cent in the financial year 2009/2010 to only 17 per cent in the current financial year; 2011/2012. The Authority bears all operational costs with exception of half of the bills of electricity for running the water production plant, which is paid by the government through the Ministry of Water.
The Authority is currently implementing a three year Business Plan, which provides a framework of activities geared towards implementing a five year Strategic Plan focusing particularly on achieving several goals which include: increased water consumption by connecting more customers, staff competence and perfomance improvement, improvement of maintanance capability of water works, improvement of data storage, processing and retrieved efficiency, just to mention a few.
"In order to increase water consumption, KASHWASA is at the initial stage of extending the water distribution network to other areas including Tabora Municipality and five small towns of Igunga, Nzega, Kagongwa, Isaka, Tinde and Muhunze. Under the same intervention, all villages located within a distance of 12 km of the main distribution pipeline will also be connected to the scheme.
A total of 110 new villages have been identified. This project is funded jointly by the Government of Tanzania and Development Partners through the Water Sector Development Programme", says Eng Kivegalo.KASHWASA is also implementing a joint water partnership project in collaboration with Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited (BGM Ltd), Kahama District Council, Shinyanga District Council and Geita District Council.
Under this project, a distribution network will be constructed to supply water from the main pipeline to Kakola, Bugarama and Ilogi townships in Kahama District as well as other 10 villages located in Shinyanga and Geita Districts."The procurement process to engage a consultant to carry out feasibility study and detailed design is underway and has reached an advanced stage. BGM Ltd has already allocated some USD 2 million for this Project", says Eng Kivegalo.