Dar now safe from severe water shortage for 20 years

Dar es Salaam would have faced a water shortage of 688 million litres in the next 20 years had DAWASA not come up with proper plans to offset the deficit, research findings by water experts have revealed.

Sufficient supply of water in the region becomes real as verified by work on the ground as witnessed on Thursday by the Board Chairperson of the Dar es Salaam Water Sewerage Authority (DAWASA), Dr Eve-Hawa Sinare, who inspected the expansion work of Lower Ruvu Water Treatment Plant in Bagamoyo.

Dr Sinare also observed the laying of new transmission main pipes of 1.8 metre diameter to cover 56 kilometres from the water source (Bagamoyo) to Dar es Salaam.

Official records by the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewage Authority (DAWASA) indicates that water shortage currently stands at 137 million litres as day in Dar es Salaam as about 450 million litres are needed out of 300 million litres being supplied today.

However, the gap is being bridged progressively as DAWASA identifies various water sources including community water projects as directed by President Jakaya Kikwete in October 2010. The aim is to produce more than 700 million litres by December 2015.

Coming to Lower Ruvu site, the Plant Manager, Emmanuel Makussa informed the visiting delegation that all four major sections of the plant have been completed by 99 per cent. These include installation of four new water pumps and the associated power interconnections.

“From this single source (Lower Ruvu), at least 180 million litres of water are produced a day. But with installation of new electric pumps each with day capacity of 90 million litres, three of them therefore will produce 270 million litres as they become operational shortly. An additional standby pump remains in place,” Makussa explained.

Other sections almost completed include the Mixing, Dividing and Distribution chambers, Pulsatube clarifier, Filters and Treated water storage and backwash rooms with 2,400 cubic metre underground clear water tank where chlorine is added before the water is pumped to consumers.

According to Resident Engineer at the site, Irenaeus Wandera Barasa, rehabilitation of the 12 MW sub-station was going on along with installation of Medium Voltage Switchboard and all connections.

As for new water pipe installation project undertaken by a contractor Sino-Hydro Corporation Ltd , the chairperson Sinare was informed that the 120bn/- project which started on November 22, 2012 was scheduled for completion by the end of February 2014.

The Consultant Engineer Rogers Mafuru from the Germany company HP Gauff Ingenieure said a total of 1,903 pipes have been laid down to cover 21 kilometres as Team ‘A’ covers 14.93 kilometres from Kerege area back to the water source (Lower Ruvu) and Team ‘B’ works between Kerege and the main water reservoir at Ardhi university College. A total of 4,660 pipes are needed to cover the distance.

However, it has been explained that manufacturing of pipes at the Tanzania Supply Pipe (TSP) factory near Ubungo in Dar es Salaam has not been very smooth due to power interruptions. For example, the factory produces 12 pipes a day while 28 pipes are needed for laying down daily.

According to Mr Mafuru, some additional measures had been taken to speed up the process that includes importation of similar pipes of certified standards from Turkey for timely completion of the project.

Engineer John Kirecha who is Assets Manager from Dawasa cautioned the general public to avoid pricking the pipes as the massive pressure inside pipes could form a river within no time as could gush 18 metres high.

Looking at the huge pipes under installation, Sinare warned residents to stop running the risk of putting up structures on top of the main pipe as unexpected rupture could be disastrous, something no one would wish to happen.

Commenting on related cases pending in court as filed by individuals unwilling to give way to the laying down of new water pipes, the chairperson requested the judiciary to speed up the process for the settlement of the matter to allow continuation of the construction work for reliable supply of water to Dar es Salaam with high growing population and industries which need bulky volume of water.

According to DAWASA Communication Manager, Nelly Msuya, main sources of water which serve Dar es Salaam and part of Coast region include Ruvu River (88 per cent), Kizinga River (3 per cent), and ground water (9 per cent). About 250 wells have been drilled in various areas of the city.

Acting CEO also Director of Finance, Mr Didas Mwilawa said, in addition to drilling of twenty 600 metre boreholes at Kimbiji and Mpera, construction of Kidunda dam in Morogoro was underway to regulate the flow of Ruvu River, major sources of both Upper and Lower Ruvu pump stations. The dam will enhance pumping of 360 million litres a day from Lower Ruvu pump station.

By BILHAM KIMATHI, Tanzania Daily News

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