‘Climate change, wastage choke water supply’

13May 2022
Songa wa Songa
The Guardian
‘Climate change, wastage choke water supply’

​​​​​​​THE impact of climate change is taking a toll on water supply system in Tanzania with levels of key sources decreasing alarmingly, the National Assembly heard yesterday.

Water Minister Jumaa Aweso.

Tabling budget estimates for 2022/23 here, Water Minister Jumaa Aweso said in 2021/22 financial year, the country saw extreme weather conditions including prolonged drought and floods attributable to climate change which affected water sector.

While some sources decreases and others dried up completely due to drought on one hand, a number of water infrastructures were destroyed by floods on the other, prompting water rationing, said the minister.

“For instance, water level in Ruvu River decreased to the point of prompting us to take emergency measures to supply water to Dar es Salaam Region,” he said.

“The impact of climate change has necessitated water rationing, decline in hydropower production capacity and massive death of livestock in various parts of the country.”

To reverse the situation, the minister urged Tanzanians to be engaged in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts such as reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and planting as many trees as possible.

Aweso name non-revenue as one of the biggest challenges with a whopping 36.2 per cent of water lost along the way before reaching final consumers.

The percentage of wastage is higher than the international average of 20 per cent, he said.

“The wastage is mainly due to leakages caused by dilapidated water supply infrastructure, vandalism of infrastructure as well as theft of water through illegal connections,” he said.

To change the situation, Aweso said the government is set to change laws to issue sterner punishment to water thieves and vandals of distribution infrastructure.

“We are also working on installation of pre-paid meters, bulk water meters as well as Unified Billing System which requires the reader to physically go to the consumer and ascertain the actual amount of water used,” he said.

He added that the government is in the initial stages of introducing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) which identifies water leakages for early repairs.

The minister asked the National Assembly to approve a total of 709,361,607,000/- for his ministry’s 2022/23 financial year. Out of the amount, 51,462,269,000/- is for recurrent expenditure with 16,700,534,000 equivalents to 32.45 per cent budget for other charges.

Some 34,761,735,000/- equivalent to 67.55 per cent is budgeted for salaries for the ministry staff as well as those of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) as well as Water Institute.

 A total of 657,899,338,000/- is earmarked for development budget out of which 407,064,860,000/- equivalent to 61.87 per cent will come from internal sources and 250,834,478,000/- (38.13 per cent) from development partners.