Kwakwani water allocated $106M but service still poor

Dear Editor,
It is quite clear that the amount of money spent to execute a project is much more important than who stands to benefit from its execution. I will use therehabilitation of the Kwakwani Water System to support my argument.

Under the Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme (PRSP) in early 2000, this programme was listed as a priority because of representation made by the residents as it related to the state of the pipe network. In 2005, at one of the PRSP review sessions, it was stated that the project to lay new pipelines was completed even though the project had not yet started. But $23 Million was eventually spent to lay pipelines that were lying idle in the ground for over five years.

In July of 2011, the residents were invited to the historic signing of a another contract to the tune of $83 million to do almost the same thing and provide service connections to households. This historic signing was done in the presence of a government minister whose main focus was on the value of the contract.

To date, no one can say what is the status of this project. From observation, no work is taking place but the new pipelines are in use. The sad thing to note is the community is worse off as the quality of service provided is very poor. Some sections of the community are going for days without water, while others are getting into verbal battles over a valve that is used to control water flow.

Why after getting the Kwakwani residents to buy into the PRSP and spending $23 million, then inviting them to an historic signing of a contract that is valued at $83 million the water service must get worse?

Somebody needs to come clean and say what is really taking place with our water service. Before the $106 million was spent, our service was better by far and we know that “where much is given, much is expected”.
Yours faithfully,
Jocelyn Morian

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