Govt to skip contractors in shoddy water projects

27Feb 2021
The Guardian
Govt to skip contractors in shoddy water projects

IT IS now official: the government will no longer award tenders to contractors who delayed water projects or delivered shoddy works.

This follows a series of reports of works performed below standard and others undertaken for longer than agreed in the contracts.  Most if not all of the culprits are indigenous firms.

Speaking after an inspection tour on implementation of water projects here yesterday,  Deputy Water Minister Maryprisca Mahundi  said ‘enough is enough’ with firms that impair the government’s efforts to relieve Tanzanians, mainly women and children, the burden of having to carry buckets of water for long distances on a daily basis.

She had inspected a water project for Buyagu, Kalangalala, Bitoto, Mwalinga, Nyamagana, Magulukende, Bukokwana and Nyampande villages in Serengerema district, Mwanza region and was particularly angered by the state of works at the Buyagu-Kangalala-Bitoto water project conducted by D4N Construction Ltd.

The contractor was paid 1.7bn/- and according to the contract, the work commenced in December 2013 and would be completed in June 2014, she stated.

“The contractor has stayed with the work for seven years and if you look at what has been done, it’s a disappointment. This company is one of those that should forget about ever winning a government contract again,” she stated.

After being paid the money to kick off the project, company officials used the funds for personal matters at the expense of villagers, the deputy minister asserted.

The government’s intention to blacklist firms delaying water projects was earlier announced by President John Magufuli last month following delays in several projects whose funds had been released years back.

Launching a water project for Kagongwa-Isaka in Kahama municipality in Shinyanga Region, Dr Magufuli directed the Water ministry to be careful in selecting tender bid winners in water projects.

“This is taxpayers’ money. There is no way the government should be spending a lot of money to finance these projects and yet someone tries to interfere with them. We will take serious actions against anyone who will be found doing this,” he said.

He cited an example of a contractor for the Nyumba ya Mungu Dam water delivery project from Mwanga to Himo in Kilimanjaro Region which was suspended for failure to complete the project since 2017.

Last October, the president warned the contractor to watch his steps or face the law, issuing a 30 days ultimatum for the contractor to speed up the project, and directing the minister to follow up on the matter.

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