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Water Resources Management in Tanzania

Water Resources Management in Tanzania,Shadrack Mwakalila

Water Resources Management in Tanzania  
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This paper addresses opportunities, challenges and viable interventions for sustainable water resources management in Tanzania, with reference to the Great Ruaha Basin. National interest in the Great Ruaha Basin derives, in particular, from its role as the source of water for hydropower production at Mtera and Kidatu. Immediately downstream of intensively irrigated agriculture in the Usangu plain, is the Usangu wetlands. This area is particularly important for fishing and livestock grazing. Downstream of the wetlands lies the Ruaha National Park, which is an important game reserve. Finally, downstream of the Park are the Mtera and Kidatu power plants for generating hydro-electric power. The major opp ortunities in the Great Ruaha Basin are: high biodiversity in Usangu wetlands which are particula rly important for fishing and livestock grazing; Ruaha National Park which is an important game reserve for tourism; irrigation potential for crop production; Mtera and Kidatu dams for generating hydro-electric power. The key challenges includes: Changes in river channels; Ric e irrigation in the Usangu Plains; dry season abstraction in the Usangu Plains; changes in the pe rennial swamp of the Eastern Wetland, deforestation in the high catchment; water allocati on procedures; framework for establishing environmental flows; and fragmented and uncoordinated management. In order to sustain the water resources management the following viable int erventions are recommended: reviewing formal water rights-an alternate view; maintaining the wetlands and downstream flows; improving irrigation development and management. Sustainable water resources management in the Great Ruaha Basin of Tanzania is, therefore, of national importance in terms of utilisation of its water resources for significant crop production , maintaining a RAMSAR wetland site, meeting the ecological needs of the Ruaha National Park and the generation of hydo-electric power.
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