By MARC NKWAME
While a total of 248 water projects have already been executed in 270 villages in 98 councils countrywide in the past year, the national target to extend water services to over 22 million people in rural areas by 2014 is far from being achieved.
Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda stated here that the completed projects that have seen the establishments of 10,560 water stations in a number of villages has so far managed to accommodate 2.6 million residents, which is still a far cry from the intended 22 million people who were to be covered by June, this year.
Speaking during the ongoing annual “National Rural Water and Sanitation Programme” meeting organised by the Ministry of Water, the premier however pointed out that the government has managed to accomplish a number of water projects that has enabled 51 per cent of rural communities and 86 per cent of urban residents to access safe and clean water.
The Minister for Water and Irrigation, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, on the other hand, explained that his ministry encountered many difficulties because they were accorded only 27 per cent of the ministry’s budget for the 2013/14 financial year.
“We had tabled a budget of 312bn/- last year but only received 86bn/- yet we managed to execute those 248 water projects that now benefit 2.64 million people,” said Prof Maghembe, adding that if his office had gotten the whole sum, more than 8 million people would be getting clean and safe water today.
He said initially it was planned that under Big Results Now (BRN) initiative, ten villages in each council were to benefit with 1,473 water projects in 1,555 villages in which 32,274 water stations were to be established to serve 8,070,000 residents within the 2013/14 financial year.