China supporting TZ government to address water shortages in rural communities

Dr Lu Youqing. Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania pumping water at one of the 55 newly constructed boreholes as government officials and Kisarawe district residents watch

Dr Lu Youqing. Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania pumping water at one of the 55 newly constructed boreholes as government officials and Kisarawe district residents watch

Access to clean and safe drinking water in Tanzania rural communities has rose to 68 pa up from 51 pa in June 2014 thanks to the statewide water sector development programme, the government announced Tuesday.

Water Minister Prof Jumanne Maghembe said with the new figures, Tanzania is on schedule to meet the rural water access target of 90pa by 2025.

Prof Maghembe made the revelation in Manerumango village, Kisarawe district—Coastal region shortly after inaugurating 55 deep boreholes constructed courtesy of Chinese government support.

“As end of last month rural water access stands at 68 per cent. We’re on schedule to meet the national water sector development programmes that seek to ensure coverage by 90 percent by 2025,” he said at the inaugural ceremony attended by the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Dr Lu Youqing.

Tanzania has been struggling to address the issues of water shortage in urban and rural centres with support from development partners including the World Bank.

The Chinese government intends to carry on bankrolling water projects in the county, it has already expressed interest to grant a Sh420 billion to support expansion of water supply from Ruvuma River in the southern highlands to natural gas rich-region of Mtwara and Lindi.

Water Minister says China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) would oversee the project.

Speaking at the handing over of the 55 boreholes, Ambassador Youqing, said over 30,000 residents will benefit from the water access.

He expressed his government commitment to continue supporting the government to improve proper water and sanitation access, stressing that “Tanzania and China are long-time friends.”

He said China will continue supporting Tanzania in implementing a number of water projects including; Lake Victoria, Shinyanga, Lindi and Mtwara schemes.

“Tanzania has enough human and natural resources to develop. We will join hands to realize the dream, availability of water service will help the people to live better lives, and students can now study without worrying about clean drinking water,” Dr Lu Youquing said

Eng Mfutakamba Mbogo, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water explained that the total cost for the drilling of the 55 boreholes amount to Sh2.66billion and the drilling was commissioned by Chinese China Geo Engineering Corporation.

He said about 30 boreholes were drilled in Kisarawe and the remaining 25 boreholes were drilled in Kilosa district—Morogoro region.

KIsarawe outgoing Member of Parliament Seleman Jafo said for the past five years the area has been hit hard by acute water shortages.

Most area residents have been spending weeks without bathing due to lack of water, he said.