Protect Rufiji water sources to make hydropower generation sustainable

30Oct 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Protect Rufiji water sources to make hydropower generation sustainable

MINISTER for Energy Dr Medard Kalemani has called on people and government leaders from 11 regions that would benefit from the gigantic Julius Nyerere hydro power project on Rufiji River to protect its water sources.

He also suggested the need for the people to make good use of the available water in farming, livestock keeping and fishing activities so as to make the project sustainable when completed.

Dr Kalemani  made the remarks after he had    toured the project site which upon completion will be able to generate 2115 MW of electricity to be fed to the national grid to alleviate intermittent power outages. It  was the minister’s ninth visit to the project site.

He said the aim of his latest visit was to observe work progress undertaken by contractors, identify various challenges including managerial during the implementation period , saying its pace was satisfactory and promised to make more visits to the site on monthly basis.

He said as of now water availability in the river is fine, the waterfalls need to be 1,000 cubic metres per second per day in dry season and 1,100 cubic metres per second during rainy seasons, and added that experts have endorsed the situation to be excellent.

He said: “All those using water from Rufiji River should take  great care and I call on the regional commissioners, district commissioners, district development directors, divisional secretaries and chairmen of village governments to ensure they supervise water sourceswell. In May I formed a team to monitor the progress of the project’s implantation under the direction of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy  giving directions to visit the 11 regions including respective authorities to ensure all water sources are protected.”

Kalemani who was accompanied by the Egyptian Deputy Minister for Works, Eng Brig Gen Mahmoud Nassar also inspected the construction project for permanent houses for contractors’ workers and other supervising officials that are set for completion by December this year, diversionary water conduits, installation of nine turbines that started three weeks before schedule as well as the site for stone crushers.

He called on all supervisors to ensure they increase the pace of the work so that the whole project is completed in time.

Kalemani added: “I beseech the Egyptian Deputy Minister who was given the project’s supervisory task by the Egyptian President to continue with his task, and fortunately he is a Brigadier General and is chairman of all construction companies in his country, hence the project is in good hands.”

He also praised President John Magufuli for his visionary directions in the project’s implementation including paying the contractors in time, as already 1.07tr/- or 15 percent of the project’s cost has already been paid out.

Kalemani said that all tasks that can be undertaken by Tanzanians should be done by Tanzanians including tasks such as security, cleanliness, as well as construction raw materials and others and warned the main contractor not to bring in workers for tasks that can be done by Tanzanians.

He also gave two months during which to begin the construction of the 60 km road from Fuga station to the project’s site to simplify the transportation of heavy equipment and raw materials that will use Tazara railway to the area.

On his part, the Egyptian Deputy Minister for Works, praised the progress of the project, and urged for continual cooperation from the government of Tanzania  for its completion.

A supervisor from Tanesco, Eng. Stephen Manda said by June 14 2022 the project will be completed, bus added that it involves many tasks including construction of various roads and bridges to access the project site.

He said: “As you have observed work on water diversion conduits has been completed by 17 percent, and the aim it complete the work by May next year so that we start work on the huge dam that will have a water capacity of 33.2 billion cubic metres and the length of the dam itself will 914 metres.”

A representative from the Morogoro Regional Commissioner, who is the Morogoro District Commissioner Regina Chonjo, said the project will be the economic saviour of Tanzanians as the biggest challenge  facing Tanzania’s move to industrial economy is inadequacy of electricity.

She promised to continue to mobilize the wananchi and other groups in the society on the importance of environmental protection and water sources and reminded of the project’s huge cost borne by the government.