WSDP III to sustain water availability, distribution

THE third phase of the Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP III), worth 15tri/-, which was launched over the weekend is expected to ensure sustainable availability and distribution of water across the country.

The Minister for Water Jumaa Aweso made the assurance when he officially launched the programme here in Dodoma.

The cost of the third phase five-year project, to run from 2022 to 2026, has increased by 3.3 billion US dollars (about 7.6tri/-) compared to the previous phase which ended last December, he said.

He mentioned five major components of the programme as water resource management and development, water quality, water supply, sanitation and hygiene and programme coordination.

He stated that budget allocation for the current phase is meant to up water sector performance and resolve all setbacks to ensuring reliable water supply and quality aspects.

He recalled that the implementation of the WSDP I was poor due to lack of accountability and commitment from companies contracted to do the job, thus discouraging development partners to support it financially.

WSDP I needed a total of 1.4 billion US dollars and 90 per cent of that amount was disbursed, while WSDP II budget was pegged at 3.4 billion US dollars but only 27 per cent was dished out.

The challenge of the COVID -19 pandemic led to poor disbursement of the required amount, thus yielded poor.

The ministry has in the past one year worked to improve performance and reinforcing discipline among ministerial staff, he stated, underlining that during the WDSP III the value for money will be considered in implementation of all projects, he assured.

He cautioned unpatriotic water engineers to refrain from embezzlement of public funds, vowing to take measures against unscrupulous experts or officials.

Implementation of the programme will see a major focus for an enabling environment to allow key dialogues among public and private sector actors as well as the development partners for viable interventions to improve execution of plans, he said.

Chairperson of water users’ civil society organizations (CSOs), Remigius Kashilila, underscored the need for the government to mull over possible ways to engage private sector stakeholders in financing water projects to reduce donor dependency.

Water initiatives largely rely on donor funding, which was not guaranteeing development of the sector, he added.

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