Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR President Hussein Mwinyi has insisted that more efforts were still needed to help Zanzibar tackle water shortage.
He said this on Wednesday, when officiating at the opening of the ‘Zanzibar Water Conference (ZaWAC), to discuss plans to tackle water shortages in the Isles, where tourism is a mainstay in addition to services provision, spices and seaweed farming.
He said success of the conference would come up with plans that help Zanzibar remain on track to beat shortage of the precious liquid.
“Water is important for all creatures, and also in achieving development goals. We need to have a reliable source of water,” Dr Mwinyi said, saying that research indicates climate change is responsible for the water shortage and increasing temperature.
Commenting on the ZaWAC theme “Sustainable maintenance of underground water resources in changing climate, Dr Mwinyi said it reflects the community’s need to take care of water sources, recognising the effects of climate change.
Zanzibar Minister for Water, Energy, and Minerals Mr Shaibu Hassan Kaduara said at the conference that the gathering of experts in the water sector was timely, as the ministry struggles to end water shortage in the archipelago.
“Water shortages in the country not only affect people; the crisis also has an effect on development,” Kaduara said.
He thanked joint efforts by development partners including the Global Water Partnership Tanzania, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Groundwater Management Institution, University of Dar es Salaam and the Netherlands IHE-Delft.
Principal Secretary of the Ministry Mr Joseph Kilangi informed the audience that the conference was a continuation of ‘Water Africa Conference’ held in March 2022, to address water problems facing most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We had some projects in the past such as drilling and water supply project (2013-2018) supported by China, Zanzibar urban and rural water supply and sanitation (2009-2013), supported by African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Ras-Al Khaimah’s Water supply system urban and rural area (2019-2020), but we still face the problem,” Kilangi said.
He attributes water shortage in Zanzibar to lack of general guidelines in implementation of water plans, inadequate research in water sector, lack of priority areas in water sector, and lack of guidelines in soliciting funds for implementation of water projects.
Mr Kilangi said the ongoing efforts to solve water shortage was among priorities of ruling party CCM manifesto for 2020/2025 which directs research on the realities of the groundwater resources, for present and future uses.
With this in mind, Mr Kilangi said, the government has taken efforts to implement the plan by establishing direct collaborations with International Research-related Institutions that will assist in preparing some of the studies outlined in the programme. The institutions are “Ruden Ass” of Norway and “KfW” of Germany.