It is estimated that about 64 percent of rural dwellers have access to water compared to nearly 80 percent of urban residents with access to clean water.
This observation was made here yesterday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Water and Irrigation, Prof Kitila Mkumbo who stated that one of the major challenges in the water sector is that between 20 and 25 percent of water projects in the country do not get completed.
Officiating at the opening of the first Annual Maji Scientific, the PS said that water resources remain a critical issue, “thus the urgent need to work on how we can overcome these obstacles.”
He said that a slight majority of Tanzanians are among over one billion people globally who still do not have access to clean water.
He urged the conference participants drawn from government departments, civil society organizations (CSOs), development partners and the private sector to use the occasion to reflect on key challenges in the water sector.
Prof Mkumbo affirmed that it would be useful if scientists and other partners in the meeting demand from policy makers if they were making rightful decisions. On the other hand government would also like to know if the development partners play their role well and also if researchers are using the right scientific approach to solve the problems.
He challenged the participants to consider the possibility of coming up with a communication platform like a journal after the meeting, saying there is almost no publication on water matters in the entire East Africa region.
Earlier, the Global Water Partnership Tanzania representative Victor Kongo stated that water specialists and researchers in the country have gathered to share and learn from each other.
The objectives include facilitating a platform for scientific exchanges among professionals in the sector and promoting innovation.
“The meeting brings together experts in the water sector to deliberate on how best to improve the water sector in the country,” he asserted.
Mbogo Futakamba, chairperson of the Multi-Sectoral Forum, when giving the vote of thanks noted that the two days meeting will tremendously contribute to reflections on issues in the water sector, as the proceedings and outcome will help guide policy makers.
The meeting precedes the National Water Week whose climax is on 22nd March, 2019 in line with the World Water Day.