Monday, March 23, 2015

How poor sanitation denounces Dar city mega status

Imagine that it’s your first time to have visited Dar es Salaam city and might become so impressed by its fine looking scenery that is enshrined with high skyscrapers which are being constructed within the city centre and its environs in a modern magnificent scale. Such a scientific development currently being undertaken is an indication that real estate investment is picking up and growing at a much rapid pace in the country. On looking at tall buildings, one might get an impression that it is the most and well developed city among others in the world that is well planned with the modern scientific style that could give a mega status of a modern city one could think about. Despite of all these developments taking place alongside the government’s efforts towards making Dar es Salaam city to achieve its mega status dream for the state, poor sanitation continues to blight the city’s drive towards this achievement.  If you tend to walk in some areas within the city centre especially round Kariakoo market complex, the environmental situation around reveals a shocking, yet almost amusing fact about the continued bad state which is littered with uncollected heap of garbage filth in almost every street. A recent survey   in the area has discovered that, apart from uncollected stinking filth, in some areas sewer water could be seen flowing along the street giving out horrible smell to passersby, and this is due to the dilapidated underground sewer pipes whose infrastructure are worn out and needs replacements. As you walk along in some streets within the city, one could feel bad smell of human excreta coming out of leaking sewer pipes. You might ask yourself why the situation is like this and probably you could throw a severe blame to the city fathers for their failure to supervise leakages on sewer pipes. Most streets in the area poses health hazards to the people around as their situation is more appalling. Among the most notorious ones includes the Livingstone and Aggrey streets, the latter street has underground sewer water pipes which is drifting causing inconveniences to passersby. Next to it is the famous Mchikichini street which is notorious with littered scraps of papers scattered along the street left uncollected for longer. The situation along Sikukuu and Pemba Streets are so pathetic as petty traders could be seen selling their food crops and other merchandise over open trenches which is full of stagnant water draining from a nearby residential areas which gives out bad smell with customers seem not to care about it. Other areas includes Msimbazi Street, Nango’mbe Street which also look so pathetic  and have so far been left unattended. A spot check by the Guardian reporter in these areas has discovered that, ordinary people including petty traders who conduct their daily business activities are seriously inconvenienced with the regular obnoxious odour emitting from the dilapidated underground sewer water pipes. Interviewed residents around the area have been disappointed and became despaired with the situation which to some extent poses to their health hazards saying that during rainy seasons the situation becomes worse and more intolerable.

Children scavenging on a garbage heap near the town.

According to health experts, exposed open trenches pose a great threat to people’s health and might cause numerous diseases including diarrhea, or might be the source of some generic problems resulting as one of the most deprived condition for human health. Contacted for comments, the spokesperson of the Ilala Municipal Council Tabu Shaibu who admitted the prevailing situation put it clear that, repairs of underground water pipes is entirely the responsibility of the Dar es Salaam Water Supply Authority (DAWASCO). She claimed that, the water authority seem to ignore their responsibility thus prompting many city residents think that the replacement of such worn out infrastructure is executed by Ilala Municipal council whereas is not the case. Clarifying over the matter she said that, ‘there is a long standing controversy between her municipal council and the city water authority over their failure to replace the worn out underground water pipes an aspect that renders their efforts to make the city clean. On her side, speaking over the matter, the DAWASCO’s Public Relations Officer Evalasting Lyaro said that, his company is trying all it can in order to remedy the situation which she admitted to be causing inconveniences to the people around. She noted that, despite efforts shown by DAWASCO, but the increasing population density is another exacerbating factor that causes the underground sewer water pipes to fail work properly causing a leakage to some of them. She also noted of the continued habit by some unfaithful citizens who are fond of vandalizing some infrastructures and that the situation keeps untidy for the development of the drainage systems for the underground sewer water in the city.  She also cited the continued influx of people from rural to the city is another serious factor that, the three Dar es Salaam Municipal Councils are struggling to control the bulging population density in search of jobs for livelihoods but in vain. Statistics made available by Ilala Municipal Council shows that, it is estimated that an average of  9 people have been entering in Dar ers Salaam city on daily basis since 2000 in search of livelihood an aspect that is a cause of high congestion causing use of water infrastructure to become congested.  But few people may appreciate the extent of this problem which is fast becoming an epidemic in the state. Most tourist serving companies restricts visiting tourists not go to Kariakoo citing the fact that, the area is dirty littered with stinking filth around and more worse is full of thieves and there is absolutely nothing there to buy other than cheap Chinese knock offs.  Dar es Salaam is a coastal city on the Indian Ocean. The city is undergoing noticeable changes in its urbanization trends and the flow of inland migration. All experts interviewed coincide that the rate of population growth exceeds the rate of provision of basic services.

A heap of uncollected filth along the main road.

Three weeks ago, members of Parliament strongly blamed the government for failure to maintain cleanliness in Dar es Salaam city. They made their concern in the wake of failure by the government to take drastic measures that would ensure the city looked clean. They argued that sheer laxity, corruption and poor performance within Dar es Salaam’s City Council authorities have brought about a total failure to make this commercial capital a clean and tourist friendly site. The Kinondoni Member of Parliament, Iddi Azzan said the three municipalities within the city lack capacity to collect garbage in their respective areas. He said: “It is wrong for the central government to leave the task to the municipalities, which do not have the capacity”. This poses an enormous challenge for city authorities, who have to deal simultaneously with making the city livable and hazard-free. Responding to other queries as related with the Dar es Salaam city situation in Parliament recently, the deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Aggrey Mwanri, said the government has plans to ensure that all urban centres in the country, including Dar es Salaam, are clean. He was responding to a question from Mwanamrisho Taratibu Abama (Special Seats-CUF) who had wanted to know what strategies the government had to ensure that the city is clean. According to Mwanri, one of the strategies is the planned launch of a ‘Dar es Salaam metropolitan project’ that will cost over 500bn/- in the coming financial year of 2015/16. The deputy minister said cleanliness of towns and cities are stipulated in the various Environmental Acts of 2004 and Social Health Act of 2009 along with various municipal by-laws. He said the government abides by these laws in ensuring that all towns and cities keep the environment clean and avoid diseases caused by dirt. He blamed the terrible state of sanitation in the country’s cities on lack of modern equipment but nonetheless confessed that ‘oversight of laws by different stakeholders, including local government authorities, has rendered many urban centres filthy.’ According to Dar es Salaam city Mayor Dr. Didas Masaburi, Dar city is estimated to be producing 4,252 tons of filthy per day, which among this 70 percent are dumped in dumping sites as the city is curbed with the scarcity of modern facilities of garbage collection. According to him, the underground city infrastructures are worn out and some maps of the former infrastructures are not in place. Ranked among the top dirtiest cities in Africa, Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, was established in 1857 by the Sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Al-Majjd, as the designated new capital. He moved to this new city in 1862, but died before accomplishing his development plans for the new capital. He named this city Dar es Salaam or “Haven of Peace” for its good weather, a good port position in the Indian Ocean, and a good direction of trade winds. Today, Dar es Salaam is growing to be known as one of the dirtiest cities in the world, holding the 12th position as a dirtiest. Only weeks since a report named Dar es Salaam the dirtiest city in the country, waste management companies operating in the country’s commercial capital allege what they describe as an ‘absolute lack of cooperation by municipal authorities.’

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