Tanzania Discusses Post 2015 National Priorities for Water

The Tanzania Consultative Meeting on Water in the Post-2015 Agenda convened from 26th – 27th March 2013 at Ubungo Plaza in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It was co-led by the Tanzania Country Water Partnership.

Thirty (30) stakeholders comprising government departments, civil society, academia and the private sector, such as the Ministry of Water, Ministry of Land, Institute of Resource Assessment, Lake Rukwa Basin Water Board, Internal Drainage Basin Board, the Ministry of Agriculture Food & Cooperative, Ikra Educational Training Centre (IETC), Ministry of Natural Resources Tourism/DPP, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, participated in the meeting.

The sub thematic group on water resource management agreed to a number of national priorities, among which include mainstreaming climate change adaptation and resilience building in all water related initiatives. Stakeholders also recognised the need for improved coordination, integration and communication on water, food and energy nexus, so as to ensure food security, energy security and environmental protection.

There was consensus on creating an enabling environment for the implementation of environmental management and water resource management, good governance and sustainable management. Specific mention was made on the need to speed up implementation of the Water Resources Management Act of 2009, as this would move towards the sustainable management of the resource in Tanzania.

The need for increased funding and capacity building in IWRM at all levels was recognised to achieving the intended objectives in the sector. Stakeholders also recognised the need to improve watershed management and cooperation of transboundary waters by calling for a holistic approach in the management of shared international waters.

A number of Key WASH priorities were identified by the sub thematic group. Among these identified were the need for increased opportunities for financing WASH initiatives, particularly on sanitation and hygiene aspects. Stakeholders further saw the need to conduct more research to enable the development of improved delivery on WASH (availability, accessibility, and affordability). Additionally, education and awareness creation, including coordination and communication by and among all stakeholders were seen as enablers to accessing safe water, sanitation and hygiene particularly in rural areas.

The sub thematic group on Wastewater and Water Quality agreed on a number of priorities relating to increased and appropriate service systems due to increased population being exerted on the existing service systems. Stakeholders saw the need of introducing de-fluoridation technology in areas with high fluoride content to increase the number of people with access to safe water and water quality related issues.

The consultation further discussed issues on water resource management monitoring and reporting. The stakeholders recognised the need to establish a sustainable national water quality monitoring programme with clear objectives to ensure the availability of water quality information (including maps) at various locations in the country. Increased harmonisation, coordination and monitoring between three key acts (Water Resources Management Act. No. 11 – 2009; the Water Supply and Sanitation Act No. 12 – 2009; and the Environmental Management Act 2004) which adequately address adequately issues of wastewater management and water quality is seen as a priority area.

Some constraints to access to quality water were observed in budget limitations faced by institutions dealing with the management of the resource, which in turn limits the management issues to be monitored. Constraints were also noted in the inadequacy in institutional framework. The discussions made reference to the country’s Integrated Water Resource Management Development Plan (IWRMDP) that is currently under development. It is hoped that the IWRMDP would take on board these issues.