In the bustling city of Dar Es Salaam, where the vibrancy of life is matched by its commercial and industrial activities, a critical challenge looms large: water resilience. The city's vitality and growth are intimately tied to its water security, a fact that has prompted a groundbreaking initiative—the Dar es Salaam Water Resilience Partnership (DarWaRP). This pioneering venture aims to mobilize the private sector's innovative capabilities and resources in achieving climate resilient water security in Dar es Salaam.

Unified Response to Pressing Challenges

The genesis of the DarWaRP lies in the collective recognition of the escalating water security challenges facing the city. In particular, the water shortages that were experienced in Dar es Salaam in 2021 and 2022 was a wake-up call to all, especially the private sector in the city. During these unforgettable moments, the Ruvu river, the main source of water supply for the city dried up due to a combination of factors including unstainable water management practices in the upper catchments, climate change among others. In this regard, despite numerous efforts and the deployment of significant resources, the city's water resilience has been under constant threat due to unsustainable water management practices, climate change, population growth, and infrastructural inadequacies. Tin order to address these challenges, the Ministry of Water through the Wami Ruvu Basin Water Board, in collaboration with various stakeholders including Global Water Partnership Tanzania, Shahidi wa Maji and University of Dar Es Salaam convened to establish a coordinated approach for enabling private sector participation in bolstering climate-resilient water interventions in the city.

The initiative draws upon lessons from the successful UNDP led Sustainable Land Management (SLM) programme and the SADC Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Program, which highlighted the need for increased stakeholder participation and innovative financing in climate-resilient Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

The Foundation of the Partnership

At the heart of the DarWaRP is a commitment to enhancing the active participation of the private sector in water resilience initiatives within the Ruvu and Coastal catchment area. Recognizing the unique attributes and commercial interests of stakeholders in Dar Es Salaam, the partnership aims to create a platform that facilitates their engagement in supporting water resilience measures in both the upper catchments as well as within the city.

Strategic Objectives and Opportunities

The DarWaRP sets forth ambitious objectives focused on raising awareness about business water risks, developing and implementing projects to enhance water security, and creating a platform for enhancing participation of the private sector in sustainable management of water resources. By leveraging the goodwill and innovative capacity of the private sector and all other partners, the partnership seeks to engage beyond traditional frameworks.

A Blueprint for Action

The DarWaRP outlines a strategic approach that includes establishing a high-level leadership mechanism, an effective coordination platform, evidence-based actions, and robust resource mobilization strategies. Through a phased approach, the partnership intends to align with the Tanzania Water Investment Programme, National Five years Development Program, the country’s development vision and the Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring a coordinated and impactful effort towards ensuring water resilience in Dar Es Salaam.

Looking Ahead: A Resilient Future

As Dar Es Salaam stands at the forefront of addressing urban water challenges, the Dar Water Resilience Partnership represents a beacon of hope and a model for collaborative action. By bringing together the private sector, government entities, and civil society organizations, the partnership aims to forge a sustainable path towards water security, safeguarding the well-being and prosperity of the business capital of Tanzania – the Dar es Salaam city. The partnership forms a plausible model for possible replication in other cities in Tanzania and other countries as well.