Residents skip baths as Dar scouts for water DARIUS MUKIZA Daily News; Wednesday,December 17, 2008 @21:15 Some parts of Dar es Salaam are still facing acute shortage of water despite promises by the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Company (Dawasco) that the problem would have been resolved by last Wednesday. A random survey by the 'Daily News' shows that some sections of the city were still facing severe water shortages, raising fears of communicable diseases among concerned parents - some of whom have since began sending their children to distant relatives due to fears of cholera that might erupt as a result of current water shortages. Residents of Hananasif ward in Kinondoni district said they had gone without water for over three weeks now, forcing them to send their children to relatives outside the city. "This is the third week we've been without water in this area.... today I sent my children to Iringa so that they may not die when cholera erupts. "There is every possibility that the disease will erupt if the situation continues and the authorities don't act quickly," said Ms Amina Salum, who added that the area was already without water even before Dawasco reported there was a 'technical problem' a week earlier. Ms Salum explained that her family was now pressed for water across all domestic chores: safe and clean drinking water; water in toilets and for other domestic use, all these pointing to a possible outbreak of cholera. Antony Lucas (70) said he had gone for three days without taking a bath, adding that his family was using salty water from wells which was selling at between 400/- and 600/- for a gallon containing 20 litres. He noted that salty water was unclean and unsafe and that most hawkers were getting it from unhygienic springs...such as those connected to public toilets. Lucas said his wife and children could not afford the luxury of a daily bath since he could not afford buying enough for all of them. Another resident, Amina Alli, said her family had also gone without water for all domestic use, forcing them to use brackish water from unsafe springs, and that the family was using the same water for brushing teeth and bathing, also expressing fears of a possible disease break-out. The survey also established that even the Hananasif Community Development Association (HCDA) - which has an agreement for getting regular supplies from Dawasco at affordable prices - had also run short of water for the past three weeks. "We used to supply water to these residents for 30/- per bucket ... but now it is the third week and there is now still no water .... When I contacted Dawasco I was told that they were experiencing some technical problems that were being worked on," said Juma Milaa, a secretary of the association. The ten cell leader, Salum Mkurutu, said he and his fellow leaders had also contacted Dawasco without success. "We are always told the problem will be solved," he said. Mkurutu said it was a serious indicator when residents of Dar es Salaam fail to take a bath for even a day - a serious health risk, he added. The situation was the same at Mabibo, Kimara, Kigogo and Tabata areas - with most public toilets overflowing with human excreta. DAWASCO is charged with supplying at least 400 million litres of water per day, but it provides only 270 million litres - all from Lower Ruvu (190m), Ruvu (80m) and River Kizinga (27m). The cell phone numbers of both the Dawasco chief executive, Alex Kaaya and his public relations officer Mary Lymo were all switched off.