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.