Monday, September 19, 2016

How regional water authority plays its role to meet customers’ demands for water

MOSHI Urban Water Supply and Sewerage (MUWSA) is a Government agency offering water and sewerage services to the Moshi Municipality with a population of about 144,000 people. It has started offering services to those who reside out of the municipality. Like most Urban Water Authorities (UWSAs) in Tanzania, MUWSA is an outcome of implementation of the National Water Policy of 1991, which promulgated a flexible, autonomous and self-financing water supply and sewerage regime. The policy proposed an appropriate institutional framework that would ensure establishment of decentralized autonomous entities for the management of water supply and sewerage services in all urban centres. As a result of the policy, and following a number of studies on the financing and management of operations and maintenance of urban water supply and sewerage services in Tanzania, Urban Water Supply Departments (UWSDs) were established in 19 regional towns, including Moshi. These UWSDs were formed in 1994, as semiautonomous departments under advisory boards namely UWSB’s. In 1998 the UWSDs were transformed into UWSAs as autonomous entities with full operational, managerial and financial powers in accordance with Act No. 8 of 1997. MUWSA plans to increase water production and subsequent supply as it eyes to serve more people within and outside the municipality. Ms Joyce Msiru is the Managing Director of MUWSA who says they have a strategic plan of five years to envision how MUWSA operations should be structured and resources allocated to meet the growing desire to improve service delivery in Moshi. Having been issued with ISO Certificate for delivering quality services to its customers MUWSA want to be the best water and sewerage utility in Tanzania, they now look at the entire scope of MUWSA in formulating a unified mission for improving service delivery. MUWSA undertake to make provision of adequate, sustainable and competitive water and sewerage services to support life, social, economic development and environment in Moshi. Ms Msiru says there have been several projects and new ones being planned so as to see to it there is enough water to existing and new customers. Currently MUWSA is in a process of getting 1.5bn/- to invest on a new water source. Ms Msiru says the water source, known as Mang’ana, is located at Uru North Ward in Moshi Rural District, saying they have taken the initiative as getting enough water for Moshi and nearby areas’ residents as soon as possible is in the authority’s cards. 

A street in Moshi town in Northern Tanzania

She notes that MUWSA is in the process of getting the funds from different sources, unveiling that among them is getting a loan facility from financial institutions so as to make the project a success. Once the project is completed, the source will produce 6,912 cubic litres per day and would partly serve people in the ward that is in highland area of Moshi. She said the local government leaders from the ward wrote a letter to Moshi Rural District Council, asking for the authority to put in place needed infrastructure for production and supply of clean water. The project comes on board after the citizens requested The Minister of Water, Eng Gerson Lwenge to consider them getting water supply from the source. The engineer was in Moshi for inauguration of Kisimeni Water Source at Uru South Ward in February this year. The water source serves about 30,000 people in Longuo and Kariwa areas in Moshi Municipality. There had been efforts under Moshi District Council to put facilities for production and supply of water from the Mang’ana source since 1989 but proved futile, so that residents continued to fetch water from far-off areas and buy from sellers who supply with gallons. While for sometimes MUWSA was focused to supply water to the municipal residents, now have gone steps further by serving residents in outskirts of the municipality. Those are in Shabaha, Sanya Line B, Kariwa and Longuo. As of last week, 1,287 clients had been connected to the water service. MUWSA seem to match President John Magufuli’s speed, as in another water source - Kisimeni, they took only 80 days, as per their promise, to complete water project and now it is operational since February 2016. It is situated at Uru South Ward, Moshi Rural District. That is a success story as now more than 30,000 people are enjoying the service. They no longer have to go far-off areas to fetch water or buy at a huge price from youth who supply with wheelbarrow. Minister Lwenge says that the government would fulfill its promises of making water available to the majority of Tanzanians. He says it is government’s responsibility to ensure that people get social services while the public is accountable to safeguard the projects. He assures the public that his ministry is committed to have 85 per cent of rural areas connected to water services and 95 per cent in urban areas by 2020. By 2025, he says, all areas in the country will have access to potable water. He praises MUWSA leadership for its diligence, saying he did not expect that the water scheme would be completed within 80 days of the president’s 100 days in office. “This is an era in which people should work hard in production activities and do away with politics as the general election is over,” he says. He criticizes politicians who incite water users connected to MUWSA facilities not to settle their monthly bills on the pretext that water is a God-given gift. He says much as the government would like to provide the precious liquid free of charge, it is difficult because there are operational costs involved otherwise the projects would collapse. From early 1960s the Moshi urban population was getting water from Nsere and Shiri springs. Currently MUWSA water services cover about 85 percent of the population, a jump from 60 percent in the 1980s. The average composition of the coverage, customers based, is 66 percent domestic, 17 percent institutional, 15 percent commercial and two percent industrial markets. Water production stands at about 8.5 million cubic meters a year. About 87 percent of the water comes from the springs of Mount Kilimanjaro and flows by gravity. The remaining 13 percent is from a borehole.

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