Managing Director for AUWSA, Ms Ruth Koya

The Managing Director of the Arusha Urban Water Supply and Sewage Authority (AUWSA), Engineer Ruth Koya said only 7.6 per cent of the Central Business District liquid waste is channelled into the sewage drainage network.

With an estimated population of around 500,000 and counting, Arusha City’s lack of a proper drainage system is said to be the result of unplanned settlements with only about 30 per cent of the total residential area being built on surveyed land.

According to Eng. Ruth, poor urban planning and mushrooming structures being built randomly make it difficult for their engineers to map proper sewage disposal systems and therefore are compelled to work with areas that have proper street arrangements. So far only the main Sokoine Road, Uzunguni Area and parts of Kijenge are covered by the urban sewage drainage network.

Many houses in town have their own on-site septic tanks which are normally drained by the ageing municipal trucks whenever they get filled up, but since this costs money, some of the residents opt to bury the filled up tanks with soil and dig up new ones.

In densely populated areas like Unga-Limited, where most of the houses are slums, it has been discovered that one pit latrine sometimes serves more than ten families, resulting into an even serious case of ‘flying toilets’ where people use polythene bags to help themselves during the night and throw them out in the morning.

Arusha joined the rest of the country on Friday to start the seven-day observation of the annual ‘Water Week’ and the city marked the occasion in the Loruvan area of the upper-Sanawari location, in Moivo Ward of Arusha-Rural District where one of the water sources is located.

By MARC NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News

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