Report release - CSE's position paper on the strategies to augment ground water in Tanzania

Date: October 12, 2021

More than 70 per cent of Tanzania’s population lives in rural areas, which depend largely on groundwater for drinking. The country, however, lacks safely managed potable water. The best available drinking water - i.e. uncontaminated and available at the nearest point - is from the basic water services.

The groundwater fed by rainwater is currently adequate for the country’s needs but temporal and annual variations of rainfall and unplanned urbanization have reduced natural recharge of the groundwater. Additionally, groundwater also faces contamination due to natural and anthropogenic reasons.

Tanzania has been promoting rainwater harvesting through storage of rainwater in tanks. But it also needs to focus on community-centric technical options for groundwater recharge. Almost 25 per cent of the country has high groundwater recharge potential, which can be used effectively to augment groundwater resources. It is crucial that policies and strategies on water conservation, including groundwater augmentation, are strengthened.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi (India)-based think tank, released a position paper on ‘Tanzania-State of Sanitation’ on 12th October, 2021 at 11:00 A.M Tanzanian Time. Aditya Batra, Senior Director, Board and Funding, CSE gave a broad overview about CSE and the global partnerships, following which the paper was released. A detailed presentation was given by Ms. Sushmita Sengupta, Sr. Program Manager, Rural Water and sanitation, CSE on the current state and recommendations on augmentation of groundwater scenario in Tanzania. Dr. Khalid Massa, Assistant Director, Ministry of Health, Tanzania spoke about the paper and its way forward. He also emphasized on the future working of the Ministry and CSE in providing institutional and technical support structures. CSE will work as knowledge partner to help Tanzania in the field of water management. Shivangi Agarwal, Research Associate, Rural Water and Waste, CSE closed the session with a vote of Thanks

The meeting was attended by the government officials of Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Tanzania. The meeting was made interactive with participants asking questions to the speakers and giving constructive feedback.

The paper focuses more on the solution for the rural areas, as most of the people in Tanzania live in rural areas and lack access to safe drinking water. The paper with specific key issues of Tanzania outlines the recommendations which are relevant, however, for much of the sub-Saharan region which faces a similar predicament.

CSE has been working on the subject of rural sanitation and water conservation in Africa and India for many years now.