Water is a public good,not a private commody for sale to the highest bidder!
The government of Hon Jakaya Kikwete has reconfirmed its commitment to the provision of water to all women and men of Tanzania. Increasing access to safe and clean water for women and men has been incorporated into the goals of MKUKUTA, Millennium Development goals and Vision 2025. At the same time, there is in real life a growing gap in access to safe and clean water between the rich and the poor, and between people living in rural areas and those living in towns. This gap is fueled by the privatization policies and user fees policies which were imposed on our government by the World Bank, IMF and a set of bilateral donors, beginning in the mid-1980s.
Water is now treated as a private commodity for sale to the highest bidder, whereas in the 1960s and 1970s under President Mwalimu Nyerere, water was understood to be a right for all Tanzanians, rich and poor, black and white, male and female. All efforts were taken to increase access for all, and to promote equity, so as to overcome decades of inequality and injustice that were cornerstones of official government policy and practice in the colonial days.
The positive steps taken by the present government to commit itself to increased access to safe and clean water for all Tanzanians must be acknowledged. These steps include the importance given to water in MKUKUTA targets, and the commitment by the then Ministry concerned in the National Budget of 2005/06 to increase the share of resources going to the district level. Attention has been placed on the need to reduce the time it takes to collect water, which has special importance for women and children who are most often responsible for providing water.Attachment: