The following email was distributed last week to the Wanabidii email group, with a very interesting perspective on some of the challenges facing the Water Sector Development Programme. I can't guarantee all the precise details of the story told, though I do have independent confirmation of the basic facts.
I felt that the email deserves to be seen by a wider audience, particularly those with an interest in Tanzania's water sector, as it sheds some additional urgency on the challenges highlighted on this blog recently.
I've translated the email into English, but the original Swahili can be found below the translation.
Subject: Violence breaks out in Ludewa after the con trick of the World Bank's 10 village water programme
Violence has broken out in Ludewa district after villagers started to demand that the money they contributed as community contributions to the cost of the 10 village water supply programme should be returned to them. The programme is popularly known as the "World Bank" programme but is actually an ABD [African Development Bank] programme. This con has been carried out by every politician in power, from members of parliament, to councillors to village and street chairpersons.
At the moment the situation is bad not just in Ludewa town, but also in other villages after the government failed to get the money to cover 10 villages, remaining with just 2 or 3 villages covered, while the money was collected from villagers back in 2006. Worse, villagers say their money is declining in value every month as 8,000 bank charges are deducted. They are therefore saying it would be better for the money to be returned to the community members.
Ministry of Water, give us some guidance, peace is about to be destroyed in all districts, tell us what should be done with the contributions made by villages who won't get water projects, or blood will get spilled. In Ludewa, the FFU [Field Force Unit] put out the disturbances but that's just temporary.
Deo Filikunjombe [the Ludewa MP], go to your constituency not just to sit comfortably because Madunda village has got water and electricity (not from Tanesco) from ACRA [an Italian NGO] and to overlook other parts of the constituency where people are killing each other because there's no water.
Ludewa waanza kuchapana baada ya utapeli wa maji vijiji kumi vya bank ya dunia
Katika hali isiyo ya kawaida uvunjifu wa amani umeanza kutokea wilaya ya ludewa baada ya wanakijiji kuanza kudai fedha zao ambazo walizichanga kama fedha za kianzio katika miradi ya vijiji kumi maarufu ya World Bank lakini ni ADB [Benki ya Maendeleo ya Afrika]. Utapeli huu umefanywa na kila mwansiasa aliye madarakani kuanzia wabunge, madiwani, wenyeviti mpaka shina.
Sasa hali ni mbaya sio ludewa tu hata vijiji vingine ni baada ya serikali kushindwa kupata fedha ya kugharamia vijiji kumi na kuishia 2 au 3 ikiwa wamechukua hela za wanavijiji kuanzia 2006. Mbaya zaidi wanakijiji wanasema fedha zao zinapungua kila mwezi kwa kukatwa 8000 kama bank charges hivyo kudai bora zirudisshwe wagawiwe wale sasa ndio kitimtim kimeanzia Ludewa.
Chondechonde wizara ya maji toeni muongozo amani inakaribia kuvunjika wilaya zote semeni kabisa michango ya vijiji ambavyo hamta gharamia ifanyweje damu itamwagika. Ludewa juzi FFU wamezima jaribio lakini ni kwa muda tu.
DEO Filikunjombe [Mbunge wa Ludewa] nenda jimboni sio kukaa tu unatulia kwa kuwa madunda wamepata maji na umeme usio wa Tanesco kutoka shirika la ACRA [NGO ya Kiitaliano] na kuacha maeneo mengine ya jimbo watu wauane maji hakuna.