|President Jakaya Kikwete and one of the water project beneficiaries at Ihako-Muleba. Photo © Muhidin Issa Michuzi |
President Jakaya Kikwete recently inaugurated the Muleba Water Supply Project which was implemented by UN-Habitat.
The project is under the first phase of the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Initiative. It has provided a steady supply of safe drinking to the residents of Muleba who, in the past, were forced to rely on polluted sources of water to meet their needs.
In his speech, President Kikwete thanked UN-Habitat for providing funds that have facilitated the improvement of access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities within Tanzania. He urged beneficiaries of the project to protect the investments and ensure their long term sustainability that would see the facilities serve the community for a long time. “Given the rapid expansion of the town, the Government committed USD 308,928.54 to fund the extension of the water supply network to further extend access and to make greater use of the 680 cubic meters water tank in the town, which was constructed under the project,” the president said.
The President was accompanied by,among others, the Minister of Land, Housing and Human Settlements Hon. Prof. Anna Tibaijuka.
The Muleba Water Project provides a supply of over one million liters of clean water per day to the town of Muleba, enough to meet the needs of over 20,000 persons. A household survey carried out by UN-Habitat has confirmed that, as a result of the project, access to safe drinking water has increased from about 13% of the population to 71%. Accordingly, the town of Muleba has met the MDG Goal 7, Target 10, for water, which is to “halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water”.
Muleba town is one of the ten towns which benefitted from the UN-Habitat Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Initiative Phase I, launched on 16th August 2004 during the Stockholm Water Week. This was a Regional Initiative to be implemented in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In Kenya, the Initiative has been implemented in Kisii, HomaBay and Bondo. In Uganda the Initiative has been implemented in Masaka-Nyendo, Kyotera, Mutukula and Bugembe while in Tanzania the Initiative has been implemented in Bukoba, Muleba, Mutukula and Bunda. All three countries share the resources of Lake Victoria. A similar Programme is being replicated as Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Phase II, launched in May 2011 and coordinated by the Lake Victoria Commission of the East African Community. Currently the programme is being implemented in 15 towns within 5 countries Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda where UN-Habitat is providing technical assistance and capacity building for the second phase.