GOVT COMMITS TO END WATER BLUES IN RURAL AREAS

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AfricaPress-Tanzania: PRESIDENT John Magufuli has said in the next five years, his government will focus more on addressing water crisis especially in rural areas that formed one of the major concerns during his campaign trail.

Dr Magufuli vowed to ensure the funds sent in rural areas for various water projects are well spent for the intended purposes and not otherwise.

“Some of the funds that were being sent to rural areas for water projects were not being used properly thus several projects are stalled. In the next five years, the government will ensure water crisis becomes history,” Dr Magufuli said.

Delivering his speech on Friday to inaugurate the 12th Parliament in Dodoma, Dr Magufuli said over the period the government will strengthen the National Water Fund (NWF) to increase its financial capacity and enable the government to implement water projects.

He said the government will also complete major water projects that are on-going including schemes in 28 town councils pegged at 1.2tri/-, Lake Victoria’s 600bn/- and the Arusha one of 520bn/-.

However, President Magufuli urged Members of Parliament and executives to be creative and ensure that water sources such as lakes and rivers are utilised to supply safe and clean water in their areas.

He as well urged Tanzanians to protect water sources and infrastructures built as well as the local government authorities to ensure the issue becomes top in their agenda.

On the sector, great strides have been made in the last five years in which, 1,422 projects worth about 2.2tri/- have been implemented.

Availability of clean and safe water in rural areas jumped from 47 per cent in 2015 to 70 per cent this year, while in urban areas water availability increased from 74 per cent in 2015 to 84 per cent in 2020.

According to the CCM 2020-2025 manifestos, the government will implement Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Plans and ensure there is clean and safe water for everyone.

The 303-page document further revealed that the government will implement strategic dam construction projects aimed at strengthening water storage capacity, including Kidunda, Lugola and Farkwa dams.

Other plans on the sector included completing research and start implementing a project to draw water from Lake Victoria to Singida and Dodoma towns as well as in villages along the main pipeline. Others were cited as expanding and upgrading Wanging’ombe Mugango-Kiabakari national water projects, Handeni Trunk Main (HTM), Chalinze and Makonde water projects.

It further read that the government plans to build at least one medium-sized dam in each district to reduce the amount of rainwater being wasted to the Sea, and instead directed to reliable water sources for communities use.

The government will also encourage the construction of rainwater harvesting infrastructures in government buildings, public institutions and private houses, adding that will also see starting implementing rainwater harvesting programme especially in arid areas, pastoral areas and in community service institutions such as schools and rural health care facilities (clinics, health centres and hospitals).

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