Speaking in Bariadi yesterday during the opening of climate change stakeholders meeting, Minister for Water and Irrigation Isack Kamwelwe said the first phase of the project will focus on enhancing access to water, lack of which is one of the major challenges facing the region.
He said the target is to pump water from Lake Victoria and supply it in the towns of Bariadi, Busega and Itilima and later in the districts of Meatu and Maswa.
The minister said upon completion, the project will have saved and improved lives of residents of the region and livestock which is part and parcel of the region’s economy.
“This project implemented in collaboration with development partners, aims to bring an end to water scarcity in Simiyu Region,” he said.
Apart from provision of clean water, other areas of the project, according to the minister are environmental protection, sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry.
As part of the project, irrigation schemes will be constructed; special dams for animals will be built alongside water treatment plants as well as toilets in schools and health centres.
Speaking in the event, Simiyu Regional Commissioner Anthony Mtaka said the project is set to change the lives of residents and entire economy of the region as it is poised to pave the ground for the construction of factories.
“The biggest impediment to industrialisation drive in Simiyu Region has all along been lack of reliable water supply. If this project is implemented, the problem will have been solved,” he said.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry of water and irrigation Prof Kitila Mkumbo said Simiyu Region was selected for the project because it is one of the regions that are at the bottom of water access chart in the country.
The project whose tender is expected to be floated in January next year is to be implemented in two phases. Phase one will be implemented in the towns of Bariadi, Busega and Itilima as well as 278 villages along the main water pipe. Phase two will be implemented in the districts of Maswa and Meatu.