Tanzania: Things Begin to Happen in Dodoma

Fresh details have emerged on the Dar es Salaam-Dodoma 'migration' after providers of such utilities as water, electricity and telecommunications announced grand plans to upgrade and expand service delivery in the new capital-designate within 100 days.

The present utility infrastructure and set-up in Dodoma have created doubt as to whether the 43-year old decision to shift to the centrallylocated region could at this time around materialise.

According to some critics, the capital transfer would hit a technical snag especially after some ministries, including the Prime Minister's Office explicitly declared to move permanently to the Capital City District, which is part of the semi-arid Dodoma region.

But the state water, telecom and electricity firms, which had been investing multi-billion dollars on infrastructures in Dar es Salaam, said they are well organised to counter any rising demand owing to population inflows.

The Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) has told the 'Daily News' that the firm, which has received funding from the TIB Development Bank, will upgrade the national broadband network to enable data transfer from the current 40 GB to 200 GB by November this year.

"The expansion work has already started to increase the traffic capacity between Dar es Salaam and Dodoma. TTCL is working with equipment manufacturers, Huawei and Alcatel, to execute expansion works," TTCL Chief Executive Officer, Dr Kamugisha Kazaura, said.

According to the TTCL boss, the firm will launch its 4G service in the new capital (designated) in November. It is also working to upgrade its IP-Network to allow sharing of large data and files from the current 1 GB to 10 GB.

An IP network is a communication network that uses Internet Protocol (IP) to send and receive messages between one or more computers.

The plan, according to TTCL, will help improve communications in the region. Energy and Minerals Minister Sospeter Muhongo made it clear in Dodoma that his ministry had resolved to upgrade the electricity infrastructure to provide better reliability and more resiliences, among other improvements.

Professor Muhongo announced the construction of Iringa-Dodoma-Singida- Shinyanga power line (backbone transmission line), linking the regions to the national grid, will be completed by October.

The 670-km stretch, with transmission capacity of 400kV, is now completed from Iringa to Dodoma and will be launched in September.

"The project, to cost 450 million US dollars, is being financed by the World Bank, Japan Development Agency, European Union, Korean Development Bank and the African Development Bank. At the completion of the project, Tanzania will be able to sell surplus electricity to Kenya and Zambia," the minister said.

The Ministry of Water held a closed-door meeting with its key players in Dar es Salaam yesterday to deliberate on the best ways to reduce outages and provide the highest quality of service to the growing demand for the utility.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Engineer Mbogo Futakamba, has reported that the ministry planned to expand the region's water distribution network.

He said as it stands now, the capacity of the Dodoma water utility agency is to pump 61.5 million litres daily while production can go up to 72 million litres.

"Actual demand for water in Dodoma is 46 million litres but the authority has been pumping less than 40 million litres due to minimal demand and limited distribution networks," Mr Futakamba explained.

The deep borehole drilled at Mzakwe in the region with the support of the Korean government is not enough. Plans are, therefore, underway to construct Farkwa Dam, which is situated 30 kilometres from Dodoma Municipality.

"We had conducted a feasibility study and it will take between 18 and 24 months for it to be complete. In addition, the government has so far compensated residents at a 60-hectare area to pave way for the construction of a sewerage facility," the PS detailed.

He said while the construction of the dam will cost 520bn/-, talks are going on with a Chinese firm to support the construction of a sewerage system in the region.

Source: Tanzania Daily News.