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NEWS: Challenging Dawasco on the right to water in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam University College of Education lecturer Saumu Jumanne writes in the Dar es Salaam Citizen, “Theoretically, international laws recognise access to water as a human right, but this right is not universally honoured. In our country, the right to water is primarily a matter for government to decide. Clean water supply in cities has been privatised. Residents pay for services that are delivered so poorly or sometimes never. …In Dar es Salaam, some areas go for months without water, and Dawasco (the body tasked with providing water) sends bills on timely basis without caring.It is high time the citizenry starts taking the question of access to water as a human right issue.”

“If you live in Oysterbay and some other suburbs where the so called ‘haves’ reside and at times operate from, you could be lucky to get water five times a week from Dawasco. But if you live in Sinza or Manzese, where the ‘have nots’ reside, getting water once a week is the order of the day. Everybody knows that ‘water is life’, maybe apart from Dawasco… In case of Tanzania, the city fathers think Dar es Salaam residents can live without adequate water for drinking. And they seem to be very comfortable, with the drops they provide.”

“Dawasco is always defensive but city residents are getting tired of the poor performance. The company is at times as now not supplying water to some areas for more than a week. Is Dawasco not violating the basic human right for provision of water? Urgent measures must be taken to rescue situation existing in Dar es Salaam. Dawasco seems to have failed. Yet water is a basic prerequisite to a dignified life, so do we allow the company to take away that dignity? Where are human rights lawyers? I think time has come for Dawasco to be taken head on.”

The full article is at http://thecitizen.co.tz/sunday-citizen/43-sunday-citizen-opinion-editorial/14197-dar-dying-of-thirst-but-dawasco-sound-asleep.html.