Tanzania: JK promises to speed up water, power supply in rural areas
4 December 2013
President Jakaya Kikwete has said the government will, through its Rural Energy Agency (REA), expedite supply of clean water and reliable electricity in rural areas across the country in a bid to improve the villagers' social welfare.
Addressing 'wananchi' during his official visit to inaugurate the new Simiyu Region mid this week, the president said to start with, REA will speed up power connection to at least 1,600 villages countrywide.
According to a statement from the State House, under the REA project, at least 155 villages in Simiyu region will get electricity in the shortest time possible.
The President said the government also expects to supply water to at least 1,449 villages in 2014 alone benefiting at least seven million people.
Dr Kikwete also clarified that this initiative is different from that of Electricity Five sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In another development, President Kikwete laid the foundation stone at Old Maswa in Bariadi district to kick start the upgrade of a 71.8 kilometers Bariadi-Lamadi road to tarmac level connecting Simiyu to Mwanza, Shinyanga and Mara.
The construction is undertaken by the China Communication Construction firm at a cost of 67.4bn/- and the government has already paid 21.69bn/-. A statement issued at the site said construction is expected to be completed in the next 30 months.
Saying there is no development without important infrastructure like road, he told hundreds of wananchi who witnessed the function to lay the foundation stone that:
"If we think that we can develop without reliable roads that connect the whole country to facilitate transportation we are deceiving ourselves," the president said.
The president recounted major related constructions: "Take the 1969 development plan that led to the construction of bridges across all big rivers...and were built in Mara, Kilombero, Rifiji and Malagarasi as well as the Kigamboni Bridge in Dar es Salaam."
"The first phase government only managed to construct one bridge on Kirumi River...president Mkapa constructed the Rufiji bridge and my government is constructing three- the Kigamboni, Kilombero and Malagarasi bridges," the president said.
He warned that if the government fails to construct roads now, it will be obliged to do so later but at much higher costs as prices of raw material and other resources rise annually.
Simiyu is among four new regions which were established by President Kikwete last year. It has five districts: Busega, Bariadi, Maswa, Meatu and Iti lima.