Several government agencies in Tanzania owe the Morogoro Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (Moruwasa) over US$91,000 in outstanding water bills.
Among the Institutions that owe the water company include the Prisons (US$36,000) , Police Force (US$22,000), and Morogoro Referral Hospital (US$35,000), according to Moruwasa engineer Nicolaus Angumbwike.
While unveiling the new Moruwasa board early this week, the engineer said because of the large debts, the company was failing to operate at its best. Morogoro Regional Commissioner Stephen Kebwe, who was present at a brief ceremony to announce the new board, said he would advise the responsible authorities to ensure the debts were settled soon enough.
“I will talk to the regional administrative secretary, Mr John Ndunguru, to ensure the hospital’s debt is settled as soon as possible,” he told Moruwasa officials.
“In addition, I will write a letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Home Affairs ministry, to remind him of the need to pay the money the Police Force and Prisons owe Moruwasa.” The newly-elected Moruwasa board chairman, Mr Clement Lujaji, promised to improve service provision through improved water infrastructure in the municipality.
Another challenged the new board will have to face is rampant environmental degradation caused by brick makers in catchment areas.
There are concerns over the abuse of water sources, particularly during dry spells, by brick makers who are cashing in on other high demand for their product.
Responding to environmental concerns, the RC directed the Morogoro District Commissioner and council director to evict people living and carrying out human activities in catchment areas.
He said this was necessary to not only stop environmental degradation, but also to prevent water contamination, which was leading to sporadic outbreaks of diseases such as cholera.
The RC told the muncipality to identify new areas for the people who will be evicted, but quickly pointed out that there would be no compensation.
Availability of water in Africa continues to be a major challenge because of drought that hit many parts of the continent and poor government policies.