PM lures private sector in Rufiji water project

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed Ministry of Water in collaboration with the private sector to finalise procedures of executing the envisioned new project of drawing water directly from Rufiji River to Dar es Salaam and Coast regions.

The Premier issued the directive in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday when he met Water Minister Mr Jumaa Aweso, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mr Amos Makalla and officials from the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA).

The meeting was aimed at addressing water woes in the two regions and implementation of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s directives issued on Tuesday, during the Clean Cooking Conference in the city.

President Samia had directed Dar es Salaam and Coast Regional Commissioners, as well as the Dawasa, to trace all tributaries of the Ruvu River Basin and clean up human activities, which interfere with the water sources.

Equally, she directed the Prime Minister to oversee the clean-up activity and ensure that the Kigamboni water project was switched on to ease water shortage in the areas.

The Head of State further stated that human activities seriously threaten the livelihood of residents in the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

“The main source of water decrease in the Ruvu river is our own actions of human intereferences, because residents near the river are cutting trees in large quantities, so water sources are drying up, and farmers have blocked the basin for irrigation and fish farming,” Ms Samia explained.

At the meeting on Wednesday, Mr Majaliwa assured that the government will do everything in its capacity to address water woes in the country.

Speaking after inspecting and later launching the Kimbiji water well project in Kigamboni area, Mr Majaliwa said with the capacity to produce 70 million litres per day, the scheme will significantly address the current water shortage facing various parts of Dar es Salaam.

The Premier said current demand for water in Dar es Salaam stands at 544 million litres per day, while production at Upper and Lower Ruvu is 520 million litres per day at the time, when supply from River Ruvu is at its normal capacity. This means, the Premier said the normal shortage always stands at 20 million litres daily.

“At this time when water levels at Ruvu River have significantly dropped, production has also dwindled down to 300 million litres a day, leading to a shortage of 244million litres on daily basis. However with the additional of 70million litres a day from Kimbiji project, the shortage will now ease and stands at 174million litres per day,” said the Premier.

“It is high time for the Ministry of Water involved Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in executing water projects instead of solely depending on the government,” he said.

Mr Majaliwa further said the involvement of PPP will facilitate meeting the demand for water supply, especially in Dar es Salaam city, which is characterised by the ever swelling population and industrial demand for the precious liquid.

“Let us look at the legal systems and our policy especially and possibly review them to allow the execution of water projects through PPP,” he said.

According to the PM, in the fiscal year 2021/2022, the government disbursed 25bn/- for the implementation of drilling 10 wells in the Kigamboni area, of which seven wells have been completed to supply 70 million litres of water per day.

He instructed the ministry to bring machinery and experts from Drilling and Dam Construction Agents (DDCA), to speed up the completion of the three remaining wells that will add more litres into the system of the project.

Mr Majaliwa also instructed Dawasa to continue drilling other wells to mitigate the water shortage in future, while also instructing Kigambo District authorities to plant trees around well sites to protect the environment. He also called on citizens to take good care of water sources.

For his part, Minister Aweso noted that the docket continue to monitor the project to supply water from the Rufiji river, which is expected to produce 750 million liters per day. He said once executed, the project will address the challenge of accessing clean and safe water in Dar es Salaam and Coast regions.

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