The construction of over US$281m water project in Tanzania to take care of the industry boom in Mtwara Region is set to begin in the current financial year, the government said recently.
When completed, the water project which is expected to cost US$281mn will supply 120 million litres daily from River Ruvuma, according to Engineer Mbogo Mfutakamba, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
The water project comes amid increasing number of industries in the region, triggered by the gas and oil extraction in the region and the government’s vision towards the industrial based economy by 2025.
In a news statement to reporters in Dar es Salaam, the permanent said the governments of Tanzania in partnership with the Chinese government will implement the project, noting that the Chinese government will fund the project through a soft loan.
Engineer Mbogo Mfutakamba was briefing the media on the sidelines of the Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) hosted tenth annual conference of the Eastern and Southern Africa Water and Sanitation Regulators Association (ESAWAS).
Regulators from the water sector in the sub-region are meeting in the city to discuss strategies to improve water accessibility in the region, in line with the United Nations agreement that requires all member coutries to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.
The PS added that the technical part of the water project, including the evaluation for compensation of people who will be evicted to pave way for the project and feasibility study, has already been completed. He added that the signing of financial agreements with China is what has remained before construction works by Chinese contractor start.
Dangote Cement Industry would be the first beneficiary from the project. The Minister for Water and Irrigation Gerson Lwenge said Tanzania was ahead of many African nations in terms of access to clean and safe water, adding that while many African countries last year reached an average of 50 per cent of water access in rural and urban areas, Tanzania water access in rural and urban areas stands at 60 and 76 per cent, respectively.
Engineer Lwenge, however, said African countries were still struggling with climate change in efforts to increase water access.