Residents of Upanga in Dar es Salaam are in rage over the city authorities’ failure to rehabilitate defective sewerage system in their area. They are also blaming the National Housing Corporation (NHC) which owns a housing estate along Mfaume Street, for not patching up the waste water system.
What is experienced in Mfaume Street, we aver, is just the tip of the iceberg, for broken sewerage systems is a common feature in the country’s commercial capital and the most sophisticated city. Complaints over clogged sewers are a litany.
When it rains, the unscrupulous among us consider it an opportunity to empty their sewage into the storm water trenches. It is not a wonder cholera and other waterborne disease will continue to savage us. When rains come, the central business district degenerates into a filthy swamp. This is because the sewerage system is out-dated, having been constructed during the pre-independence days and having note undergone any major rehabilitation or upgrading despite changes in the city’s demography.
The system was constructed at a time when Dar es Salaam had less than a million, a far cry from today’s four million-plus!
There has, of late been, complaints from operators of cesspit emptying trucks over shortage of stabilisation pond facilities in Dar es Salaam. This situation calls for a need to have a new sewerage system that will amply cater for the current needs of the ever expanding Dar es Salaam population.
Neglecting repairs and maintenance of the city’s sewerage system puts health of millions of its residents at great risk. We should not continue hiding behind the façade of “lack of money” for if we fail to improve sewerage system, we will end up incurring much higher loss treating and burying victims of preventable diseases such as cholera.
FGM ZERO TOLERANCE APT
It is a pity that as we consider ours a nation that is part of the modern world, we still have to contend with communities in which female circumcision, which is nothing but female genital mutilation (FGM).
This backward practice is still widespread in the regions of Manyara (81 per cent), Dodoma (68 per cent), Arusha (55 per cent), Singida (43 per cent) and Mara (38 per cent).
The practice of FGM is not only backward; it is also cruel, cases of botched up “surgery” has led to excessive bleeding and death of young girls. In adulthood, some FGM victims are known to suffer complication during childbirth. Not to mention of the fact that “the cut” may impede a woman’s enjoyment of sex, a basic human right.
Which is to say, FGM shouldn’t be allowed at all. It is encouraging that Tanzania’s Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act of 1998 prohibits it from being performed on girls younger than 18, much as it doesn’t provide any protection for women once they pass that threshold age. The move by authorities in Serengeti District, Manyara Region, to subject pupils to medical check-up to detect those who have received the cut is apt. Parents of such girls will be arrested and prosecuted. Other districts where the practice is known to take place should follow suit.