Tanzania is planning on increasing access to clean and safe water in rural areas to 90 percent and to attain universal access in urban areas by 2025 this as part of a long-term programme aimed at achieving the Tanzania Development Vision (2025).
This was revealed yesterday in Dar es Salaam by Minister of Water Prof Jumanne Maghembe at the opening of the seventh joint water sector review meeting.
“We need to remain optimistic but at the same time be realistic with our ambitions …” said the minister “…all water basin institutions shall be strengthened to full operation capacity and have their integrated water resources management and development plans approved by basin stakeholders come 2015…” he pledged.
In attendance was the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Klaus-Peter Brandes who observed that progress on implementation of the water access projects in rural areas and in small and district towns has been slower than expected and so is the progress of achieving water sanitation goals.
The ambassador noted that it will now be one of the major challenges of the ministry to speed-up implementation of the programme in districts and small towns.
“After five years of implementation of the Water Sector Development Programme, a number of goals were not realised…” admitted the ambassador who also conceded that “…actual physical implementation is behind schedule and so far only 60 percent of the overall 1.3 billion USD budget has been disbursed and phase I of the programme has had to be extended…”
Since October 2010 additional fiduciary safeguards in the form of a modified disbursement procedures had to be applied after a Special Audit and Annual Financial Audits by the Controller and Auditor General identified what has been referred to as ‘profound weaknesses’ in the financial management of the programme. In simpler language, the auditor unveilled misuse of funds and new security measures had to be adopted.
Matthew Halla, a representative from Tanzania Water and Sanitation Network (TaWaSa) and who is also a representative of the Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) said the network recognises important and valuable steps taken by the government in the development of the sector for the past years.
“Notably, funding for the sector has increased, there has been positive implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the various ministries and organisations aimed at moving forward the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for development project…” noted the representative.
These initiatives are in line with the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) and MKUKUTA II (2010-2015). They target to increase access to clean water in rural areas from 57.8 percent in 2010 to 65 percent of the population also in the regional capitals, from 84 percent in 2010 to 95 percent by 2015.
Urban centres like Dar es Salaam have already seen a substantial share of investment raise from 68 percent in 2010 to 85 percent for its districts’ small towns as well as national projects are expected to increase from 53 percent in 2010 to 57 percent by 2025.
For rural water supply and sanitation, local government authorities have cumulatively built and rehabilitated 11,805 water points serving a population of 3,119,802 people and a total of 572 sub projects that qualified for environmental and social safeguard were screened.
“It is only now that the implementation of this component has started to pick up with the signing of the first construction contracts for “Village Schemes” in April 2012…” he explained.