Tanzania earmarks over $3 bn for water access

A Tanzanian woman trying to get water from a muddy well in Bagamoyo

A Tanzanian woman trying to get water from a muddy well in Bagamoyo

The Tanzanian government is projecting to spend $3.321bn to address water shortages and improve access to clean and safe water for both rural and urban communities by 2020.

The new benchmark revealed today in Dar es Salaam comes amid reports that water security was emerging as a global risk and seriously affecting mainly semi- arid regions.

A survey conducted late last year by Twaweza, a regional NGO indicated that for every three people in the East African nation only one has access to tape water amid efforts to improve supplies by the government and development partners.

At a meeting with water stakeholders in Dar es Salaam Thursday, Tanzania’s Water and Irrigation Minister Eng. Gerson Lwenge said “this problem has to come to an end.” The minister says the government now targets to improve water coverage by 100 per cent in all rural and urban communities.

“Already development partners have expressed commitment to release $ 1.359 billion for the purpose, this will help the government implement its plans under its Water Sector Development Programme (WSDP-II),” he said.

World Bank, Bank of France and African Development Bank (AfDB) are some of the development partners that have pledged support. The World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia Bella Bird, expressed her institution’s commitment towards complementing the government efforts to address the daunting challenge of water access in rural and urban centres.

Lack of access to clean and safe water has affected sanitation standards across the country. Over 80 percent of people in Tanzania lack proper access to sewerage system and the government had made it clear that improvement of water access will equally improve access to proper hygiene and sewerage systems by 40 percent from the current 16 percent.

The government which is in the process of implementing Sector Wide Approach Programme (SWAP) in the water sector has spent an annual average of $951m on the programme.

A total of $1.36 billion, which is 83 percent of the revised budget of $1.63 billion, has been disbursed over a period of eight years to implement the programme.

Eng. Mbogo Futakamba, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water and Irrigation called on stakeholders to extend their support to help the government successfully execute the agenda