DAR ES SALAAM
(Xinhua) -- A new report launched by the
World Bank on Monday said in Tanzania water scarcity
could derail the east African nation’s growth and
poverty reduction efforts.
“Tanzania needs to urgently improve
the management of its water if it is to avoid its water
resources becoming a brake on its development progress,”
said the report launched in Tanzania’s commercial capital,
Dar es Salaam.
The World Bank’s 10th
Tanzania Economic Update said against the rapidly expanding
economy and population, renewable per capita freshwater
resources dropped over the past 25 years from more than 3,000
cubic meters per person to around 1,600 today.
“The decline, which is driven by
increasing demand for a finite resource, will likely
continue and reach around 1,400 cubic meters per person by
2025, well below the 1,700-cubic meter per person threshold
that defines water stressed countries,” said the report.
“There is now a compelling need for
the government and all stakeholders to manage this finite
resource better,” said Bella Bird, World Bank country
director for Tanzania, Malawi, Somalia and Burundi.
“Tanzania’s development ambitions are
dependent on water, just as much as on other factors like
education, health, transportation, energy, and finance,”
At present, the agriculture sector is
using the vast majority of utilized water resources, accounting
for around 89 percent of total use in Tanzania, against a global
average of 70 percent, the report said.
In addition, the country’s
manufacturing is dominated by agro-processing, which is also
highly dependent on water, as is mining, tourism and energy
The report, however, said Tanzania is
making progress toward increasing household access to water
supplies, with 63 percent of the population having access to
basic and improved water supply services.
Droughts and floods have a major
impact on Tanzania’s economy, with the extent of damage likely
to increase with ongoing climate change.
The agricultural sector suffers an
estimated 200 million U.S. dollars in average annual losses
because of weather-related incidents, particularly drought.
The report recommends four key
measures towards ensuring that this finite resource is well
They included stronger coordination
across sectors and prioritization of water-related investments;
valuing and pricing water appropriately; investing in data
collection and analysis to better equip water management bodies
to make decisions; and clarifying and strengthening the roles of
institutions responsible for water-resource management and
ensuring they are properly resourced.
The Tanzania Economic Update is the
World Bank’s flagship in-country report and is published twice a