Water shortage continues despite area’s heavy rains

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The ongoing long rains in Arusha have not helped much to save the city from acute water shortages that have plagued the precinct for over four months now.

Previously, the Arusha Urban Water Supply Authority (AUWSA), through its public relations officer, William Shayo, had blamed prolonged drought as being the cause, but as the rains continue to pour, the authority is quiet regarding what exactly is ailing them.

Residents of Arusha however continue to receive their monthly invoices from AUWSA demanding payment despite the fact that in some areas not a drop of water has been coming out of the taps for many weeks now.

Recently residents from some areas have been demonstrating in Arusha City streets against the lack of water as well as the fact that, despite the taps being dry, water authorities continue to bill them.

But the ongoing rains have now turned out to be domestic source of water as residents choose to harvest rain water down from their house roofs.

AUWSA’s Managing Director Eng. Ruth Koya could not be accessed either in person or through her mobile phone number.

Residents of Sakina-Azimio section of the city claim not to have seen a drop of water since last November and that all efforts to report the matter to AUWSA have been futile; “It is also not possible to drill our own wells here because the underground water table in Sakina is unreachable,” said Mama Hairet Salum.

Some residents of Njiro say it is now more than four weeks since their taps had water flowing and even then, the water was dirty prompting complaints from the local people to AUWSA management which chose to cut off the water flow.

“Water hawking business is a flourishing trade, some affluent people are operating large bowsers that supply water door-to-door and we suspect that these collude with AUWSA individuals to ensure that the taps in the city remain dry for their business to stay afloat,” complained Mr Isaack Mollel a resident of Njiro.

AUWSA serves more than 500,000 inhabitants of the City and its suburbs, using three main forms of water sources including River Nduruma, 19 deep wells and two natural springs that have been producing water pumped to residents.

All the water sources reportedly produce 60,000 cubic meters of water per day during the rainy season, but this amount usually drops to a daily 45,000 cubic meters in dry times. Arusha-urban residents need 93,270 cubic meters of water per day to be fully sufficient.

Pumping water from the deep underground wells requires electricity at larger percentage with the grid power accounting for 31 percent of the water produced from the wells and for some time now electricity has also been a major problem in Arusha.