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China Funds Construction Of Low Cost Houses In Zanzibar

TOMRIC News Agency (Dar es Salaam), 1 May 2000

Dar Es Salaam - China has earmarked a total of Tshs11 billion for construction of low-cost houses in Zanzibar and water supply projects in two Mainland regions.

Out of the total fund, Tshs1.5 billion in interest free loan have been earmarked for houses construction for the people in the Isles, said a statement issued by the People's Republic of China embassy over the week end in Dar Es Salaam.

The rest, Tshs9 billion in grant form have been earmarked for water supply projects in Dodoma and Coast regions. The house construction project comes at the time when there is a big shortage of dwelling units in the country.

About 40-70 percent of the urban population in Tanzania live in poorly serviced squatter settlements.

Studies conducted by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) in 1980 revealed that 65 percent of all residential housing constructed in urban areas in Tanzania were in unplanned squatter settlements in which basic services such as water, power, drainage, transport and communication were either locally missing or inadequately supplied. Reports by the Dar Es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA), says only 20 percent of residents in Dar Es Salaam are served with sanitation facilities. The country is also facing water crisis.

In Dar Es Salaam alone it is estimated that only 30 percent of about 3 million population get tap water. While DAWASA is soon to be taken-over by private investors, in Dodoma and Coast regions, regional water and sanitation authorities are to manage water supply system. In 1996 Tanzania and donors signed a co-financiers water and sanitation project called Urban Sector Rehabilitation Project ( USRP) which was launched in 1997 by the World. The project aimed to revamp water supply and infrastructure rehabilitation in the selected regions including Dodoma.

In March this year when Tanzania's Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye visited China, the two countries entered an agreement in which China pledged to render assistance of Tshs3 billion in addition to donating 15 tractors and 25 water pumps.

According to the yesterday's statement China will also support other projects which include goods to the Tanzania's Ministry of Community Development, Women Affairs, facilities for a computing centre at the University of Dar Es Salaam.