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Tanzania: Critical Water Shortages Rock Sumbawanga

Sumbawanga — AN acute shortage of water continues to hit Sumbawanga Municipality and its environs in Rukwa Region for more than two months, causing great inconveniences to residents mostly women who spend many hours searching for the precious liquid.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News’ over the phone on Wednesday, the Sumbawanga Water Supply and Sewerage Authority Manager, Engineer Antipas Shirima, said most of the key water sources in the municipality had been destroyed by felling down of trees and setting fire on the Mbizi Forest which houses the major source of water supply in the area.

Eng Shirima further explained that environmental degradation around major water sources has caused tremendous plummeting of water supply from sources on a daily basis. Engineer Shirima further cautioned that water woes will continue to haunt the municipality until the end of next month where two water projects, which are under construction, are scheduled for completion.

A random survey by the ‘Daily News’ has established that the shortage has pushed up prices to alarming rates from 500/- per 20 litre bucket of water in some areas. The ‘Daily News’ in the recent days witnessed many residents mostly women and children flocking few public water tapes here in the municipality and queuing for long hours for water.

A cross-section of women who were interviewed by this paper during different intervals recently admitted to have spending many hours on long queues to get their share of water from very few public water tapes here in the municipality. However, the most hit places apart from households include hotels, private and state health facilities and several guest houses in the municipality.

According to Eng Shirima, the government in an effort to ease water woes in the municipality and its environs embarked on two projects that are nearing completion. “The water projects involve drilling of 13 wells along the River Lichwe Basin and rehabilitation of old water pipes including fitting of new pipes for pumping water from the source to Sumbawanga town,” added Eng. Shirima.

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Tanzania: Critical Water Shortages Rock Sumbawanga
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