Residents in Kigoma decry lack of clean, safe water

04Jan 2022
Adela Madyane
The Guardian
Residents in Kigoma decry lack of clean, safe water

KASIMBU Ward residents in Kigoma Municipality have no access to clean and safe water, a situation that forces them to rely on unreliable water sources, risking them waterborne diseases.

One of the residents in Busomelo Street, Athuman Tito said people in the area use water from wells located a few meters from the toilets, threatening them to the outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
“We are using water that is not safe at all; wells that we use are locally placed without any mitigation risks to our health. It’s risky to get clean and safe drinking water, women in this area are forced to buy water or walk about 30 kilometers to fetch water in Buzebazeba, which is very far from here,” Tito said, adding:
“We buy 20 litres of jerrycans for 1,000/- if you have a huge family you can spend 7,000/- per week only for drinking water, it is better to pay water bills to Kigoma Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (KUWASA) than costs like this.”
Another resident, Mariam Hamisi said: “We urgently need clean and safe water to get rid of typhoid and diarrhea.”
“Human factors such as washing clothes close to the wells endanger our lives,” said Runigangwa Yahya said, calling the government to chip in and address the challenge.
Ramadhan Juma, a water vendor from Kasimbu ward said: “In a trip, we carry five gallons on a bicycle, we always charge a gallon for between 200/- and 500/- depending on where we got it.”
Busomelo Street chairperson Hassan Hassanaly said, the street has a population of more than 1,000, they all depend on wells, whose water aren’t reliable and the situation become worse during the dry season.
In studies conducted by the Lake Tanganyika Basin Authorities reveal that the construction of development projects and settlement houses without their involvement as the authorities can lead to the environmental impact on the areas.
Head of Environmental and Protection Department at Lake Tanganyika Basin, Odemba Kornel said it is advised before starting and developing projects or settlements to seek advice from the authority to avoid environmental hazards that can cause further harm to human beings.
“There are projects built without our concern, they are now damaged, they were flooded and no longer existing, we regret that they did not use water statistics in designing their projects which led to damages, water data helps projects to be built effectively, for example, Kasanga and Mgambo ports sunk because they did not use water data and Kalema port is doing well because they used the water data in their construction,” explained Kornel.
He insisted that, as an authority, they know the areas with water and should not be placed on projects or settlements, they know when and where there was a high water level and where, and when the water reduced, and where the ultimate water level is, this will help avoid losses of property and other infrastructure.
"Even road constructors should seek our advice as we use hydrological data to determine the water level passing through a certain bridge, failure to do so, and bridges are built against the bulk of the water will lead to a bridge collapse and cause losses to the government and other investors.

Water Resource Engineer at Lake Tanganyika Basin Gaudence Ndolo said it is against the law for a citizen to drill their own wells without permission from the authority, and there must be a distance of 300m from one well and another otherwise the permit holder will take legal action against those who dug a well by stealing water.