21st Annual Water Experts Conference (AWEC)
Access to safe water is essential for addressing poverty and health problems. The poor, most of whom live in rural areas, have limited access to clean water for domestic use and crop production and adequate sanitation. Economic benefits are achievable indirectly through improved health and time saved from the drudgery of carrying water overlong distances. Existing data on the incidence of water-borne, water-related and water-washed diseases indicate that these are mostly prevalent where people use contaminated water or have little water for daily use. Since such diseases account for over half of the diseases affecting the population and more than 80 percent of Tanzania's population living in rural areas. The Government aims for sustainable rural water supply. The management of water also involves the participation of all stakeholders in order to achieve sustainable access, efficiency, equitable use and adequate protection and conservation of water.
third of Tanzania receives less than 800 mm of rainfall and is
thus arid or semi-arid. Only one-third of the rest of the country
has precipitation of above 1,000 mm. Also the long dry season,
normally extending from June to October, has an effect on low
river flows and drying of water reservoirs. However, about 7 per
cent of Tanzania land surface is covered by lakes which border the
country apart from other inland lakes. These include lake Victoria
(second largest fresh water lake in the world), Lake Tanganyika
(second deepest lake in the world), and lake Nyasa. Inland lakes
includes Lakes Rukwa, Eyasi and Manyara. There are also big rivers
flowing to the lakes. Ground water is also another source of water
for both urban and rural
largest use of water is domestic water supply. Due to increased
economic activities and delivery of social activities of which all
utilize water in one way or another, delivery/supply of water has
become a burden which the government cannot meet alone without the
participation of the private sector . It is the government's
policy to involve the beneficiaries in all water projects both in
urban and rural water supply. The water sector contribution to GDP
has remained at 0.2 per cent for some years, a proportion which is
insignificant considering the importance of the sector to the
economy. Hence the government is encouraging private investment in
the water sector.
Measure by its share of contribution to GDP, water features among the smallest sectors in Tanzania. For some years the water sector contribution to GDP remained at 0.2 percent which is very insignificant compared to what other sectors contribute e.g. agriculture which in 1999 accounted for 48.9 percent of the national GDP. However water as a resource and as an area of activity plays a more important role to social economic development in Tanzania when are takes into consideration the linkage effects of this sector. For example even agriculture which is the greatest sector in all important aspects cannot tick without water. Fortunately water in Tanzania is among the sectors with a greater growth potential. In 1999 waters contribution to GDP recorded a handsome increase of 3.0 percent.
Water Resources Available:
Tanzania has sufficient water resources to meet most of its present needs and they include surface and underground sources. About 7 percent of the land surface is covered by 3 lakes (all of them fresh water) which border the country apart from other inland lakes. The three lakes include Lake Victoria (second largest fresh water lake in the world), Lake Tanganyika (second deepest lake in the world) and Lake
Nyasa. Inland Lakes include Rukwa, Eyasi and Manyara. There are also big rivers flowing to the lakes. Underground water is also another important source of water for both urban and rural settlement areas.
There is a great variation of water availability between different parts of the country. The variation is explained by differences in topography, rainfall parten and climate. About one third of Tanzania receives less than 800mm of rainfall per annum and they are considered as arid or semi arid. Also Tanzania experiences a long dry season normally extending from June to October which has an effect of low river flows and drying of water reserves.
Surface water resources in Tanzania consist of lakes, rivers, springs, man-made reservoirs and natural ponds. Considerable water resources exist in the country’s Lakes namely Tanganyika,
Nyasa, Rukwa, Eyasi and Natron.
About 50% of the surface run off water is derived from the main rivers flowing directly to the Indian Ocean and these are:
Pangani, Wami, Mkondoa, Ruvu, Rufiji, Ruaha, Kilombero,
Mbarangandu, Matandu, Mbwemkulu, Lukuledi and Ruvuma. The remaining 50 percent is divided into surface water drainage into the main internal drainage basins which have no outlet to the sea (Lake
Rukwa, Bubu depression complex, Lake Eyasi and Lake Manyara), others flowing into lake Victoria
(Meri, Maru and Kagera rivers), River Malagarasi draining into Lake Tanganyika and rivers Songwe and Ruhuhu draining southwards into Lake Nyasa Zambezi River system.
Tanzania has 5, 439,000 ha. of lakes and swamps which represent 5.8 percent of the total land surface; but this number excludes seasonally inundated flood plains.
Tanzania is divided into five major drainage systems and these are (1) the Indian Ocean drainage system (2) the Internal drainage of Lake
Eyasi, Natron and Bubu Depression complex, (3) the internal drainage of Lake
Rukwa, (4) Atlantic Ocean drainage system and (5) Mediterranean Sea Drainage system.
Ground Water Resources:
Ground water is a major source of water for many areas in Tanzania and actually the most viable alternative supplement in the central and northern parts of the country/the drier regions of
Dodoma, Singida, Shinyanga, Tabora, Mwanza, Mara, Arusha, Coast and Southern Kilimanjaro.
Water sector development in Tanzania is governed by the water sector policy. The current water sector was issued in 1991. However recently the Government has embacked embraced upon a policy reform programme that covers the entire social, economic and political body: therefore including the water sector. Therefore the water sector policy is supplemented by the water sector reform programme which is actually still going on. The water sector reform programme works on improving the policy as well as sector management and operational set-up. Overall the water policy and together with the on going sector reform stipulates the following:-
· Water is considered as a basic need;
· Government policy on water aims at achieving equitable access to and adequate sustainable supply of clean safe water both in rural and urban areas;
· The policy goal is to ensure universal access to clean safe water supply within a distance of 400 meters from people’s home;
· Water development and supply is a liberalised are of work :ie. all potential actors e.g. communities, private sector, NGOs etc (Local and foreign are allowed and encouraged to engage (especially by way of investing) to supplement Government efforts in the development and delivery of water supply services;
· Government will make efforts to promote active participation of the private sector and beneficiaries in service delivery in order to improve efficiency, effectiveness and enhance sustainability of the services.
Role and Functions of the Government:
While the water sector is a liberalised area of work for all types of institutions interested, the Government through the ministry responsible for water also has the following main responsibilities and functions:
· Development, review and further improvement of water and sanitation policy;
· Facilitate co-ordinate, monitor and regulate provision of water and sanitation services to the public with a gender perspective;
· Develop competent sector professionals of high integrity.
The Regulatory Framework:
The regulatory and institutional framework for water resources management is provided for under the water utilisation (Control and Regulation) Act. No.42 of 1974, referred to as the Principal Act and its Amendment Act No.10 of 1981 and written Laws (Miscellaneous) Act. No. 17 of 1989 and General (Regulations) Amendment. The Act as amended, declare that all water in the country is vested to the United Republic of Tanzania, sets conditions on the use of water and authorises the Principal Water Officer with authority, to be responsible for setting policy and allocation of water rights at the national level. For designated water drainage basins with established Basin Water Offices, the responsibilities are under the Basin Water Officer.
So far much of the water used in Tanzania is on domestic purposes. As much of the population about 80 percent live in the rural areas and only the remaining 20 percent live in urban
centres, much of the water is used in the rural areas. Yet, despite the greater resource potential, many of the sources remain undeveloped and a good proportion of the population use water from undeveloped and crudely developed sources: lakes, rivers, ponds, shallow and open wells.
By the year 1999 only 45 percent of the rural population and 68 percent of the urban population have access to clean safe water supply. While these figures are only national averages, the situation varies a great deal between different geographical locations. With regard to sewerage services, many urban areas continue to be affected by poor sanitary services. Only about 7 percent of the urban dwellers are connected to the existing water piped sewerage system which so far is obtaining only in a few towns and where it was constructed a long time ago.
Major Actors in the Water Sector:
Thanks to the country’s development policy which for a long time has put major emphasis on development of social service sectors, water included; thanks also to the water policy that has been encouraging other stakeholders (than the government) to engage in water sector development activities, today Tanzania has a long list of institutions; both public and private working in the development and delivery of water and sanitation services. Following below is a table showing some of the institutions outside the government circle which are currently engaged in the development of the water and sanitation sector.
Investment Potential and Opportunities:
There are factors which denote the existing greater potential and opportunities for investment in the water sector now and for several years to come and they include the following:
· That there is greater unexploited water resource potential;
· There is greater demand for water sector services that is still unmet and that demand is still growing as both the population as well as the quest for social economic development in Tanzania are also growing;
· The current Government policy calls for increased promotion and participation of other sectors, in the development of social sectors water included;
· There is already a great number of institutions which have invested in the sector and which already have positive experiences to learn from and provide opportunities to for forming partnerships;
· The sector has a big range of fields for investing into ie from direct delivery of water to construction of infrastructures (e.g. sources, supply mains etc), manufacturing and supply of machinery, equipment, and training of professionals.
Some Important Sources for Further Information:
The following are some important departments and institutions that are directly officially involved in the affairs of the water and sanitation sector and therefore which can provide some more useful
Policy and Planning Division
Managing Director, DDCA
AWEC Organising Committee
Director Water Resources Division