Tanzania is one of the countries positioned in Sub-Sahara Africa that encounters a severe shortage of clean & safe water. According to reports, over 23 million people do not have access to clean drinking water and almost twice as many do not use improved sanitation facilities.
However, things have been swiftly changing over time as people face a lack of access to clean and safe water has been going down. For instance, In 2000, 73% of Tanzanians lived without basic access to safe water.
While In 2019, the Water Sector Equity Report published by Tanzania Water and Sanitation Network confirmed that around 60% of Tanzanians have access to improved water, a 6% increase from 1990.
In 2019, accessibility to clean and safe water in urban areas was 87% and 48% in rural areas. According to President Samia’s speech yesterday, as we speak, access to clean and safe water in rural areas stands at 74% and 86.5% in urban.
The 2020 CCM Manifesto targets Tanzania to increase the accessibility of clean and safe water in town by 95% and 85% in rural areas by 2025. Under President Samia, CCM’s dream is most likely to become achievable.
Since President Hassan assumed power in early March of 2021, pertinent measures have been adopted to address the lingering water challenges in Tanzania.
For instance, in the next financial year of 2022/23, Tanzania will execute 1,029 water projects. Whereas 648 are continuing and 381 are new, most of which are in rural areas and overseen by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA).
As she aspires to tackle the water challenge in Tanzania, on May 6, 2022, at Chamwino State House in Dodoma, President Samia Suluhu inked a historic agreement valued 500million US dollars with Indian companies for water supply projects in 28 towns in the country.
The project expects to take off before the end of the 2021/22 financial year, said Deputy Minister for Water, Ms Maryprisca Mahundi. Out of 28 28 towns in the country, 24 will have their water projects funded by the Exim Bank of India, where 8% ($35M) of the projects will be executed in Zanzibar.
President Samia said, “The completion of ongoing projects in June 2022 will improve access in rural areas to 78%, while the 8% increase from the new project will take access in urban areas to 94.5%.”
President Samia said the government is now looking for TZS 36 billion to implement the Same – Mwanga project as it is being marred with legal issues that the government is resolving.
Also, President Hassan hinted at how the government plans to solve the water crisis in Dodoma. A huge that that to be filled for four years needs to be built in Dodoma to mitigate the prevailing water crisis.
As for now, trying to address the problem temporarily, the government is talking with the ministry of energy to take at least 1% of the water from Mtera Dam to distribute in Dodoma.
President Samia hailed reforms undertaken within the Ministry of Water that led this historic project to be enabled in 28 instead of 16 towns as proposed earlier, a situation signalling embezzlement. Nevertheless, a total of 126 stalled water projects were revived that will benefit the majority of Tanzanians.
President Samia called on the ministry to re-organize and make thorough supervision of the project, address challenges, and, whenever necessary they should, consult the Chief Secretary, the PM and herself.
At the signing ceremony in Dodoma, the Minister of Water Hon Juma Aweso, mentioned towns to benefit from the water programme which include Ifakara, Kiomboi, Muheza, Wanging’ombe, Kayanga, Makonde, Njombe, Makambako, Manyoni, Songea, Sikonge, Chunya, Kasulu, Kilwa Masoko, Rujewa, Mugumu, Geita, Chato, Zanzibar, Singida Mjini, Mpanda, Chemba, Mafinga, UramboKaliua, Pangani, Rorya/Tarime and Chamwino.
“The project will be the most valuable to be implemented in the country, followed by the $617 trillion project executed in Tabora – Igunga – Nzega project and $520 million project executed in Arusha region.” – said the Ministry of Water Permanent Secretary, Mr Anthony Sanga.
Firms given bids to construct are tasked to execute high quality and low-cost projects. The Indian High Commission to Tanzania, Mr Binaya Sirkanta Pradhan, said the project expects to benefit over 6.12 million citizens.
President Samia’s first term in office seems to be doing so well for her as she has been able to implement big projects with much efficiency in a brief span. Considering the project being the biggest in Tanzania, analysts say this installs a formidable base for her 2025 general elections.