Why 88 major water projects are stalled

12Sep 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Why 88 major water projects are stalled

THE government yesterday declared that a total of 88 major water projects dating back to 2010 are stalled in various parts of the country, blaming poor management and unscrupulous engineers for the situation.

Minister for Water Prof Makame Mbarawa (C) helps to lift down a bucket of water from the German’s Minister for Cooperation and Government Cooperation Vera Rosendahl shortly after officially launching a water project worth 331m/- funded by the German Government through GIZ at Ng'ong'ona village in Dodoma yesterday. Looking on (L) is Dodoma Urban MP Anthony Mavunde. Photo: Correspondent Ibrahim Joseph

Speaking here yesterday, the Minister for Water Prof Makame Mbarawa unveiled a plan to revive the projects undertaken between 2010 and 2013 but have not produced a drop of water despite consuming billions of shillings of taxpayers’ money.

The clearly annoyed minister scathed past managements and engineers that spent vast sums of government money without achieving intended results.

Officiating at the inauguration of a water supply project in Nghong’onha ward in Dodoma city, he said the government would not entertain such shoddy work anymore.

The project worth over Sh 331 million will benefit an estimated 11,800 people, implemented from July 2018 to May 2019 under the sponsorship of the German government.

Mbarawa stated that the project was first designed and implemented in 2013 but did not produce water. “It is shameful that we have taken six years to bring water services to people simply due to unfaithful engineers and managers who were working on the project,” he said.

There are numerous such projects countrywide that did not produce water with the budgeted funds completely spent, he pointed out, emphasizing that the government intention is to ensure they are restarted and implemented at low cost to bring services closer to people.

Prof Mbarawa thanked the German government for the support, noting that it will reduce the amount of money people used to spend on water in the past.

Before the projects was carried out, the main water source for Nghong’onha community was sold by vendors where the price varied from Sh 250 to Sh 500 per 20 litres of water depending on the season.

With the inaugurated water project, the residents will pay Sh 25 per 20 litres, reducing the burden for households, particularly for women.

Speaking at the inauguration, Vera Rosenhal, the Senior Policy Officer in charge of East Africa in the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation, noted that the purpose of the water supply project in Nghong’onha is to enhance the livelihood and well being of some 10,500 people in the area.

“This is another success in the relationship between Tanzania and Germany, and we look forward to further engagements,” she said, reiterating that it is the aim of the German government to support development projects.

She acknowledged the government’s efforts in ensuring availability of clean and potable water for the people.

Dodoma Urban MP, Anthony Mavunde thanked the ministry for fulfilling one of the CCM election pledges in 2015, where he told voters not to vote for him in 2020 if the project was not successful.

The area has a long history of water shortages, thus the successful completion of the project is great support in improving people’s livelihoods, he added.