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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Dawasa moves to help water-short areas

12th October 2012

The likely causes of disappointments and family discomforts in many families of Dar s Salaam are traffic jams, escalating costs of food and the chronic shortages of water.

Inadequate water has worsened sanitary conditions making homes and the entire city unkempt while women and girls spend much of their time searching for water which has made residents uncomfortable.

Areas such as Keko Magurumbasi, Mburahati, Kimara particularly in Maramba mawili, King’ongo and Kilungule are missing this precious liquid. Many a time the situation is attributed to inadequate water sourced from Lower and Upper Ruvu River …

Dar es Salaam a sprawling city with a population of 5.5 million, needs at least 450,000 cubic meters of water per day. It however gets almost 300,000 cubic meters per day, according to the available statistics.

With such a high demand while failing to satisfy the supply of water, President Jakaya Kikwete in May 2010 challenged and directed the city water authorities to respond to the water crisis by implementing mid-term programmes to help clients in the water crisis prone areas.

The president’s orders has enabled clients of Magurumbasi, Mburahati, Chang’ombe and Kimara to gain access to water services following the recent development where the City Water and Sewerages Authority (DAWASA) has constructed 27 boreholes in the water crisis prone settlements.

In this boreholes project more than 100,000 residents will be able to get reliable water supply. Early this month women and children living in those communities sighed with relief when the Minister for Water Professor Jumanne Maghembe inaugurated the boreholes with piped water.

According to the city water authority Chief Executive Officer, Archado Mutalemwa, the deep wells are expected to produce more that 350,000 litres of water daily to serve various users including, communities, business persons and students in primary and secondary schools.

DAWASA has been undertaking drilling of boreholes and installation of community owned and operated piped water within the areas, but this time around the DAWASA Chief warns that it’s the community and the organization that shouldered the burden of investment and management of the water.

Mutalemwa says although the authority has put up both infrastructure and inputs such as the pumps, power meters, reservoir tanks and the distribution pipelines, its the role of the communities to generally take care of the physical infrastructures and realized the funds that are needed to sustain the boreholes.

And additionally to report whenever there is deterioration of assets or vandalism.

Thus, the communities will sell the waters at 50/- price per 20 liters bucket to clients and the revenues will be kept in a special bank account aiming at sustain the water infrastructure , the supplies and facilitates future expansions.

In several water points communities told Professor Maghembe, that they have formed water management committees that are responsible for selling of the utility as well as managing the infrastructure like water meters and the accounts as they felt that they are the sufferers of the water service crisis and the insufficient provision of the high valued commodity.

In the recent trends on community investments in social amenities particularly water, hospitals are made more participatory in order to sensitize the beneficiaries to value and protect the assets and the services. Such model was adopted by DAWASA to ensure that users care for the boreholes.

In Kimara –Marambamawili the thirsting community express their dissatisfactions to Minister Maghembe when they knew up that their area has been without piped water for decades, challenging the recent borehole project that it has failed them as well. They complained bitterly that the drilled boreholes do not have fresh water.

"We are glad that you here in Marambamawili, we hope that we are going to have our own drilled borehole working from today” , says Remmy Lutumo, the area chairperson, pointing at the newly drilled borehole.

According to Lutumo there are 12,350 people living in Msigani Ward covering Maramba mawili whom many draw water from a swamp around the area.

"You are going to have fresh water in Maramba…. We will install desalination machines to remove the salt compounds from the water as we are looking for permanent solutions to this problem,” the minister said.

The CEO assured the residents that the authorities are looking for contractors to map out and make technical designs and drawings for water distribution system to the newly developed areas of the fast growing city.

He said the new scheme will be constructed to ensure efficient water delivery system able to supply water to as many clients as possible in a systematic and planned manner, instead of the past trend where individuals were left to` fend for their selves.’

Following such an argent need for water in the city, the Minister ordered DAWASA to install water desalination machines in Kimara areas to clean the community borehole water and make it more easily accessible to the people in order to improve sanitary conditions.

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