WATER Minister Jumaa Aweso has revealed a plan for introducing guideline water service connection charges as he ordered water authorities to ensure that it takes only two weeks to connect new applicant of the service.
The minister issued the directive yesterday in the wake of complaints that some new customers could spend even two or three months before being connected to water services, something which cripples government’s efforts to increase water accessibility in rural and urban settings. He was speaking at the signing ceremony for the joint water project worth 5.4bn/- in Kibamba Constituency in Dar es Salaam Region.
“It is not right for water utilities to delay connecting new customers to water service for about three to four months after they had completed all procedures, including making payment for the water service,” said Mr Aweso.
He observed that the citizens were entitled to water supply, therefore the water companies should not make the customers feel as if they were being punished.
The minister insisted that the sixth-phase government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made huge investments to improve access to clean, safe, and reliable water in the country.
The minister noted that over 500 million US dollars (equivalent to over 1tri/-) have been allocated for executing various water projects in 25 urban settings to improve access to clean and safe water across the country.
“There are no excuses for us not to deliver the key services to the people…we will be measuring the competencies of the directors through water connections,” he said.
On the other hand, the minister urged the water utilities to review the cost of water connections, noting that it was very disturbing to learn that the same distance in one area is being charged more, while the charge was less in another area.
He pointed out the solution to such a problem is to review the current costs and see the possibility of adopting a similar system being used by the Rural Energy Agency (REA) whereby people pay a flat rate of 27,000/- to connect their homes with electricity.
Equally, the minister was irked by the tendency of some unscrupulous officials responsible for reading water meters inflating customer water bills. He pointed out that some of the officials had gone to the extreme of inflating the bill by three times higher than the actual customer usage.
Mr Aweso cautioned the official against such acts and maintained that they should engage the customers while reading water meters to avoid such complaints.
“The excuses which you bring up about the customers not understanding the reading is vague…the bottom line is the meter reading should be participatory,” he stressed.
Mr Aweso revealed that the ministry is planning to introduce pre-paid meters (LUKU) like those being used by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO).
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202110040981.html
Author : Daily News
Publish date : 2021-10-04 16:56:41