Friday, November 27, 2015

German government help boost Mwanza water supply

Mwanza Region is set to enjoy improved water and sanitation services following a financing agreement worth Euro 12 million (about 24bn/-) between the government and the German Development Bank (KfW). The Ministry and the Mwanza Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (MWAUWASA) signed on Thursday this week the financing agreement under Investment Financing Facility (IFF) and Output Based Aid (OBA) programmes. The funds will facilitate the construction of water infrastructure, making it possible for people living in the hilly areas to access the precious liquid. The signing agreement is part of capacity building programme in which the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authorities (UWSSAs) are required to prepare proposals, submit them to funders and qualify for a revolving fund arrangement. Speaking shortly after the signing of the agreement, the MWAUWASA Executive Director, Engineer Anthony Sanga, said the fund will support improved access to drinking water by people living in hilly areas. Apart from accessibility, Eng Sanga said the boost will help increase the water network pipes to a distance of 30 kilometres and increase the number of water supply to customers, where more than 3,500 customers were lined to access clean water by June 2016. “The project is expected to be implemented in ten water projects in both Mwanza City and Ilemela Municipal Council, where a population of 25,000 people will be served with clean and safe water,” he said. He mentioned the areas to benefit from the projects as Kabuhoro-Kitangiri, Nyasaka Riverside, Nyasaka Islamic, Bugando-Bugarika, Shede, Bulale, Isamilo-Mjimwema, Majengo Mapya-Califonia, Lumara Makaburini and Capri Point. He said one of the challenges the authority was facing in the implementation of the projects was difficulties in finding land for the construction of pipelines, as well as building pump stations as that some of the areas are unsurveyed. “We thank the Ministry of Water and KfW (IFF-OBA) for coordinating and monitoring the loan, which has enabled the authority to carry out and perform the role of getting water to the people living in hilly areas that had no water,” he said. According to the available data, currently the number of people with access to water for urban areas in the country is 75 per cent, which indicates a need for huge investment to improve the situation. Giving his keynote speech, Water Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary (PS), Mr Ngosi Mwihava, said to achieve set targets of service improvement and extension programmes, UWSSAs ought to undertake both short-term and mid-term water infrastructure programmes for which they do not need to wait for dish-outs from the government. He said IFF targets increased performance and revenue generation strategies of urban utilities by providing an incentive to finance strategic investments through loans from local financial institutions. “Based on the achievement of agreed performance targets, the UWSSA’s will be rewarded by bonus payments (grant) out of the IFF OBA-window and the grant provided is 50 per cent of the amount of commercial loan obtained and is disbursed upon successful implementation of the project,” he said. He mentioned other UWSSAs, which have qualified for IFF OBA financing arrangement and awarded the loan as Tanga UWSSA, which got 1.8bn/-, Iringa UWSSA (275m/-) and Kahama UWSSA (66.7m/-). “So today’s agreement makes total UWSSA’s successfully accessed IFF OBA loan in the country reach four, while other 10 UWSSAs have applied for the loan worth 12 million million Euro also contributed by KfW”, he said. He said Germany and Tanzania have prepared a pilot IFF OBA programme to complement others at the ministry where, basing on innovations, UWSSAs eligible projects will gain access to commercial financing to implement the projects, which will be beneficial as they will bolster revenue generation.

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