No end in sight to Dar water woes as drought bites

Tuesday November 16 2021
Dawasco PIC
By Hellen Nachilongo

Dar es Salaam. There seems to be no end in sight for water rationing in Dar es Salaam as the situation gets worse at the major water sources of Upper and Lower Ruvu River.
This is despite the government’s attempts to bring the situation back to normalcy sooner than later.
Earlier last week, the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (Dawasa) announced water rationing plans in some parts of the city, stating that, due to climate change - including temperature rise, reduction of rainfall and increasing drought - water production had gone down from 520 million litres to 460 million a day.
Demand for water in Dar es Salaam stands at 544 million litres per day.
But, speaking during the tour of the Upper and Lower Ruvu water sources yesterday by the Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, the Dawasa chief executive officer, Mr Cyprian Luhemeja, said that Lower Ruvu currently produces only 119 million litres of water a day.
This is less than half of its daily water production capacity of 270 million litres.
In his remarks, Mr Majaliwa said the deficit of 150 million-to-170 million litres was huge - and called upon Dawasa to find alternative water sources to end the acute water shortage the city.
He directed them to drill water wells to ensure that water supply services are back to normal.
Mr Majaliwa - who was accompanied by the Dawasa board of directors and Water Minister Juma Aweso - also directed the relevant institutions to conduct a special operation to identify the cause or causes of the shortage of water.
“Yes, I know there is climate change that is going on. But that’s just one of the factors that have caused an acute shortage of water,” he said, hinting at the shortage being also caused by farmers and pastoralists who have invaded most sources of water to conduct farming and animal grazing respectively.
Mr Majaliwa said the Ministry of Water should work urgently closely with that of Natural Resources and Tourism as well as with that of Livestock and Fisheries Development to provide awareness to pastoralists and drill dams.
Meanwhile, women in a number of locations in Dar es Salaam – including Manzese, Kijitonyama, Tabata, Kariakoo and Magomeni among others – were seen queuing up with water pails and jerry cans at taps, waiting for their time to get the vital liquid.