Delay in the approval of financial contracts has led to failure in implementing water programmes in 10 villages in districts funded by the World Bank, it was revealed in the National Assembly yesterday.
Minister for Water Prof. Jumanne Maghembe informed the House in a special report on the project being implemented by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme that the scheme was supposed to start during the 2005/2006 financial year and end in fiscal year 2010/2011.
“We planned to spend USD292m to provide water during the first phase to rural dwellers from 55.7 percent in 2006 to 65 percent by 2010. But this was delayed by reluctance of signing financial contracts for the projects,” he said.
He said the projects started in fiscal year 2007/2008 instead of 2005/2006.
The minister said in his statement that the programme started by establishing quick projects which would have brought positive results.
He said after assessment, objectives of the programmes were revisited in accordance with the availability of funds.
“Stakeholders agreed that since the activities planned for the first phase had been completed, then the timeframe for the completion would be pushed to June 2014,” he said.
The government has also changed the previous target of providing water from 65 percent by 2010 to 60.5 percent by 2014.
Prof Magembe said further that the programme was also delayed due to lack of consultancy, and as a result, District Councils continued to build and rehabilitate projects which didn’t need consulting experts.
Until 2009, a total of 9,546 water stations had been built in 3,553 projects benefiting more than 1,893,250 people.
Prof Maghembe said the quick-win projects ended in 2009 after consultants were found.
“During discussions between the government and development partners, it was agreed that the World Bank procurement procedures be used in purchase made for the Water Sector Development Programme,” he explained.
He said following the World Bank procurement procedure of consulting experts worth USD200, 000 must be endorsed by the Bank before the projects continue.
Recently some Members of Parliament have been questioning delays in the implementation of water schemes in 10 villages in districts saying that they were yet to yield results.
The legislators said the government had promised to implement them, but it was yet to make them a reality.
Lushoto Member of Parliament Henry Shekifu (CCM) said the implementation of the projects had taken so long and that “they we’re now fed up” with empty promises.
Citing an example, he said three villages were earmarked for water projects at Mlola but todate there was no even a single village getting water supply as promised.
Mkinga Member of Parliament Dustan Kitandula (CCM) said that his area has met all the qualifications for the projects, but only one village was benefiting.
“We want the government to tell us when this programme will be implemented in the remaining villages,” he queried.