The lawmakers in Tanzania have claimed that most of the urban water supply authorities have been failing to ensure continuous supply of water due to financial constraints which were largely caused by delayed payment from its customers, including the government.
Contributing to the budget speech for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in the National Assembly, Special Seats legislator Kunti Majala (Chadema) said that Dodoma Urban Water Supply and Sewage Authority (DUWASA) is owed by the police force Sh60m, Prisons Sh200m, National Service Sh100m and Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) Sh500m.
According to Majala, the country’s capital city had serious water problems whereby out of all the 41 wards, only 18 wards got water from Duwasa.
“The government should pay its outstanding water bills to the authority to enable it provide water services in all the wards. Dodoma is among few regions where the ruling party garnered many votes in previous general elections, but the residents are going through difficulties including lack of reliable water services,” she said.
Frank Mwakajoka of Tunduma constituency (Chadema) complained over the government failure to implement the Ministry of Water and Irrigation ministry budget for the 2016/17 fiscal year.
“Last year’s budget was implemented by only 19.8 per cent…we are not serious about ending water woes in the country,” said Mwakajoka.
He also complained that although the Tunduma border town between Tanzania and Zambia contributes Sh80bn to government coffers annually, the town lacks reliable water services.
Nzega Urban MP Hussein Bashe (CCM) said most of municipal councils have been failing to implement its water projects due to lack of funds from the central government.
He faulted the government over delayed funds disbursement which led to the national power distributor (Tanesco) to disconnect electricity to Nzega municipal council in Tabora region, thus affecting provision of services including distribution of water.
Bashe said Tanesco is owed by the urban water authorities Sh8bn, but the water authorities are owed by the government Sh39bn.
Member of Parliament for Itilima Njalu Silanga (CCM) urged the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) to be quick in issuing indicative prices to avoid complaints from customers.
Mpanda Urban MP Sebastian Kapufi (CCM) said despite the good plans outlined by the minister for water in his budget speech, poor implementation of projects had always been a hindrance to attaining the targets.
Mahmoud Mgimwa from Mufindi-North (CCM) said that the Sh1.5bn set aside for water projects in Mufindi constituency for the 2017/18 financial year was not enough since the area faces serious water problems.
Tandahimba legislator Ahmadi Katani (CUF) suggested for the government to introduce a new levy on alcohol that will be channelled to the ministry of water. He said that depending solely on funds from the sale of petroleum products would take the country many years to accomplish its water plans.
Marwa Chacha from Serengeti (Chadema) said government plans to ensure availability of water services in rural areas will not succeed without electricity. He said efforts should be made to ensure the availability of solar power to the villages before initiating water projects.
Currently, a litre of diesel and petrol entering the local market is charged Sh50, which is injected into the water fund. The MPs now want it increased to Sh100.
Tabling his budget estimates for the 2017/18 financial year, Minister for Water and Irrigation Gerson Lwenge appealed to the lawmakers to endorse the Sh672.2billion budget, with an over 31.2 per cent decrease from 979.5bn/- compared to 2016/17 budget.