Arusha residents have opposed the recent move by water authorities to hike charges from 130/- per cubic meter to 350/- with immediate effect.
It got worse when the Arusha Urban Water Authority (AUWSA) during their recent meeting with their customers, told them that the charges are again set to be increased to 400/- per cubic liter in the next fiscal year 2013-2014.
The AUWSA Managing Director Ms Ruth Koya said the price hike was intended to help the Authority expand coverage and improve services and meet the rising commodity and equipment prices.
But speaking during the occasion, stakeholders complained of poor water services saying there are sections in town that may go without water supply for over two weeks.
The meeting also involved representatives from Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority as well as the Government Consultative Committee whose official Ms Juliana Lema said if AUWSA wanted to improve services they can save the money by reducing their excessive expenditures not through over-billing customers.
Water usage in Arusha urban has increased for about 124 percent. The daily water requirement for the City has also nearly doubled from the previous 53,000 cubic liters per day to an overwhelming 93,270 cubic liters.
The Arusha Urban Water Supply Authority which depends on filling its water reserves by tapping a total of 16 wells and natural springs, many of which are now drying up, can only produce an average of 45,000 cubic liters per day. With the ongoing dry spell, water production has fallen to a measly 32,000 cubic liters.
The Authority, according to Ms Koya, is now working to identify new water sources including reviving a total of nine old wells that were dug in 1980 but had not been used since then.
AUWSA also has plans of tapping water from the fresh-water Lake Duluti located in Tengeru area of Meru District once the negotiations with Pangani water basin which manages the resources, have been concluded.
The authority is also researching the area lying between Magereza section of Kisongo to Ngaramtoni where it is believed that the water table is rich and ready to be tapped.
However reports have that, some people have already bought plots in the area which was earmarked for residential settlement by the Arusha-Rural District.
AUWSA’s town water network is serving 32,000 customers, including residential, commercial and industrial premises; the authority also runs 46 public (community-based) water kiosks as well as 102 standpipes.
That is still a limited coverage taking into consideration that the fast growing Arusha City currently has a population of 500,000 and the urban center is experiencing a major boom in real estate development, new industries, local and international organizations and higher institutes of learning.
A study around the town has revealed that, the current water shortage is badly affecting the residents of Sombetini Ward, FFU area, Kwa-Mrombo, Sokon-One and Njiro.
Source Article from http://allafrica.com/stories/201209090284.html
Tanzania: Auwsa Proposes 300 Percent Water Charges Increase
AllAfrica News: Water and Sanitation
All Africa, All the Time.