Premier launches water project in Ruvuma

THE Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, has launched a water project in Songea District, Ruvuma Region, with the capacity of serving 5,300 residents of Mkongotema and Magingo villages respectively.

Madaba District Council Executive Director, Mr Shaffi Mpenda, told the premier on Thursday that the project whose construction started in 2013 has cost 1.2bn/- and has a reserve tank with capacity of 200,000 litres. “The cost of this project is 1,092,439,812bn/- of which 1,069,647,312/- has been provided by the government and 22,792,500/- has been contributed by citizens,” he said.

Mr Mpenda said that currently 915 households with 5,300 people were being served by the project which has 57 water points. He added that the aim was to have 71 water stations by the end of the year. He explained that the completion of the project had enabled the residents to minimise cost of buying the precious liquid when a barrel of water was sold at 3,000/-.

“The project has also addressed the inconveniences encountered by the residents including walking long distances in search of water and outbreak of diseases,” he said.

Addressing the residents, Mr Majaliwa applauded them for their contribution to the project because in some areas similar projects had stalled because people had declined to contribute for the projects. He called upon the residents of the two villages to protect the environment and water sources for the project to be sustainable.

“You are supposed to maintain this project because the weather has changed due to various reasons including cutting down trees for expanding agricultural land,” Mr Majaliwa said.

He added, “We are currently cultivating chunks of land but the yields are low, the government is now focused on cultivating a small area to get high yields.” The PM warned the residents from conducting agricultural activities near water sources as a way to protect them.

He urged relevant authorities to establish a system which would require people to plant trees along water sources. “The government’s policy is to ensure that every citizen has access to water in a distance which does not exceed 400 metres and this is possible if we will protect water sources,” her said.

The PM, however, urged the villagers to reserve some food as a safeguard against risks arising from weather changes. “We cannot predict the onset of the rainy season. You should, therefore, reserve some food. When the rainy season begins, cultivate a variety of drought resistant crops,” he said.

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