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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dawasco must raise efficiency

 

 
Dar es Salaam Water Supply Corporation (DAWASCO) has embarked on a water disconnection operation, covering consumers who have not paid their bills in the City, Kibaha, Mlandizi and Bagamoyo.
That is as it should be, for if the service is to be sustained and enhanced, it must as much as possible, be financed by its consumers.
We are however talking about a basic necessity for human survival, an item without which life cannot be sustained. That is why maximum care has to be exercised when handling it. Yet a lot remains to be done for Dar residents in this area, as much as they also have to do more, such as paying bills on time, to sustain the service.
For Dar residents, one of the biggest woes besides traffic jams and power outages is the never-ending shortage of water.
People have had to spare increasingly bigger budgets to buy enough of the life-sustaining liquid, because its supply failed along the way to keep pace with demand from the rapidly growing population.
That is why we need to remind Dawasco and all other actors in Dar’s water supply operations that part of the water woes being experienced are to be found in the inefficient way the city has been handling the scarce precious liquid.
Only two million of the nearly five million city residents get a modicum of fresh piped water, despite the huge infrastructure set up to ensure supply.
The cause is the run-down infrastructure which loses a significant amount of that liquid due to leakages along the way, not to mention some major breakdowns which have left consumers without water for days. Some of the leakages are a result of direct tampering by people who illegally tap water from the main pipes.
Many of Dar’s residents desperate for water, have turned to vendors, buying a 20-litre bucket of the not-so-safe liquid at between 300/- and 500/-.
As the government presses ahead with the major Dar water supply project, aimed at ending the problem by Dcember, Dawasco needs to straighten a few areas, which Dar residents have frequently raised complaints about.
The residents have been complaining that there are still leakages which Dawasco seems to have forgotten about, despite being informed several times.
Every drop of wasted water translates into lost revenue; that is why the Corporation should heed every call about a leakage and plug it immeidately.
The suggestion here is that, since Dawasco knows very well about its run-down infrastructure, it needs to seriously consider having a team that will carry out inspections and act promptly to plug leakages, in a bid to minimise waste and improve supplies.
Equally important Dawasco needs to be seen to be fair in delivering the precious liquid to Dar residents, some of whom complain that despite having had the infrastructure to receive piped water for a long time, they have never seen a drop of the liquid from their taps.
How can Dawasco expect to collect more revenue from the little water available now, if the issue of leakages and that of ensuring every drop passes through a meter to record correct consumption for billing purposes are not addressed now?
Indeed with meters, Dawasco could also address the problem of leakages in residences more realistically and save more revenue.

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