Water budget thrills stakeholders

A CROSS section of water stakeholders have expressed high expectations on the 2022/2023 water budget, saying if well implemented, it will address water woes in areas with critical shortage of the precious liquid.

Minister for Water Jumaa Aweso tabled the budged estimates for his docket on Wednesday requesting the Parliament to approve 756bn/- for the 2023/2024 budget.

The government identified budget priorities that include continuing conserving water sources, strengthening water management, and completing construction, renovation and expansion of ongoing water projects including water project in 28 towns.

Others are proceeding with construction of a strategic Kidunda and Farkwa dams and implementation of other water projects by tapping water from reliable sources such as lakes and rivers to reach the areas with critical shortage of water.

The stakeholders in separate interviews with ‘Daily News’ commended the government commitment to bring water services closer to the people.

Global Water Partnership Tanzania Executive Director Dr Victor Kongo said the budget brings high expectations to water consumers as it highlights the essential priorities, including implementation of mega water project such as Kidunda and Farkwa dams.

Dr Kongo, who is also East African Regional Director for Africa Water Investment Programme said “the budget for the water sector is impressive and we look forward to seeing more funds being channeled to implement the strategic projects as elaborated in the budget speech.”

Dr Kongo urged all stakeholders in the water sector to join hands in supporting President Samia Suluhu Hassan together with the Minister for Water in making sure that all people in the country have access to clean and safe water.

He added that the Global Water Partnership Tanzania will continue to support the government in ensuring Tanzania becomes a water secure country.

Dr Kongo added: “We have been supporting the ministry in various ways including the ongoing building of a modern office block for the Mvuha Water User Association in Wami Ruvu basin, sinking borehole and building cattle troughs for the pastoral communities in Ruvu, undertaking strategic study on establishing contribution of water in the national economy among others”.

On her part, WaterAid Tanzania Country Director, Ms Anna Tenga commended the ministry for setting up priorities including the conservation of water sources in response to global climate change.

She noted that WaterAid is pleased to see how the ministry has continued to implement ongoing projects, including recognising the participation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as WaterAid Tanzania in provision of water services to communities.

“We are  pleased to see  how the ministry has set up plans to continue with implementation of ongoing water projects  such as the recent project of  water  treatment plant  at Bassotu river which will benefit  4,420 people … this project was  handed over recently by WaterAid Tanzania”, she said.

Ms Jessica Edward a resident of Ilala District in Dar es Salaam noted that the priorities unveiled by the ministry on Tuesday are crucial in improving water supply in the country such as 28 cities project.

She noted that, the completion of the projects will help to improve the livelihood of people, because they will no longer need to spend much time in search of water.

“In two years of President Samia in office, access to clean water has improved in rural areas from 70.1 in 2020 to 77 per cent in December 2022…the move will help to strengthen  people’s health against the outbreak of  diseases such as cholera”, he pointed out.

Adding: “I am optimistic that if the docket’s priorities and plan will be implemented as planned in the next financial year, the water woes will be reduced”.

For her part, special-seats Member of Parliament   for Momba Ms Juliana Shonza said the ministry should come up with strategic plan to address the challenges of the Non-Revenue Water.

According to the Tanzania Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), Non-revenue water (NRW) is a big challenge for many water authorities in the country since it is much higher than the set national benchmark of 20 per cent.

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