Tanzania: Ministry takes action to control unbilled meters and leaks

WATER Minister Jumaa Aweso denounced the water authorities by attributing the losses of the precious liquid to the leaks, noting that the problem was mainly due to a poor billing system.

Mr Aweso issued a month-long ultimatum to the country’s water authorities to check their customers to identify those with unbilled water meters and to take necessary action.

“Some of the water authorities have a high percentage of water loss which, in reality, is not real because we do not see such leaks,” Aweso said at the official opening of the ‘Annual Meeting of the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewer Authority (DAWASA). General Assembly held yesterday in Dar es Salaam.

Mr Aweso noted that the huge loss of precious cash in the country is due to theft, especially through unbilled consumption which is carried out by some dishonest officials in the ministry.

“I am giving you 30 days to check your clients because most of them who get the service do not pay … these clients need to be identified and registered in order to resolve this problem of water loss which is attributed to leaks” , did he declare. stress.

Mr Aweso said that within the allotted time, the water authorities should also form a team of experts who will visit all areas with old infrastructure to resolve the leakage problem.

He further revealed that his ministry is undertaking reforms to address various challenges facing the water sector, including the use of prepaid water meters that will, among other things, solve the problem of leaks.

“We have invited various stakeholders with different technologies on water meters and we have identified priority areas where they can start to be used for learning purposes,” he noted.

He called on the water authorities to ensure that the meters meet the required standards and that they should be affordable.

The minister further said that water authorities should set standard costs for connecting water services and ensure that people benefit from the service without delay.

He explained that the government has invested a lot of money in water projects in the country, so the authorities should foresee standard costs to connect the water services so that many people can access the service.

He also warned of swelling water bills, calling on authorities to ensure their customers participate in reading bills.

He noted that in the 2021/22 budget, President Samia Suluhu Hassan added $ 207 billion to increase access to water for the rural population, especially in areas facing severe shortage of the precious liquid.

Mr. Aweso noted that there is currently a huge project underway that will provide water to 1,527 villages in rural areas to reduce the scarcity.

The minister expressed his disappointment with some of the hydraulic engineers, who did not supervise the projects well, warning that severe measures will be taken against them.

“The government has invested a lot of money in these water projects but in some areas the implementation of the projects is not satisfactory,” he said.

DAWASA Managing Director Cyprian Luhemeja said the water projects that have been implemented will help solve the water scarcity in the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

DAWASA board chairman Gen. Davis Mwamunyange said implementing the projects was among the initiatives to relieve women of long treks in search of water.

“We commend the government for recognizing and appreciating the contribution made by DAWASA, including over nine major projects underway,” he said.

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