East African Business Week: River protection starts in Tanzania

News Source: East African Business Week

By Timothy Kitundu, Monday, June 20th, 2016

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – A major multi-stakeholder initiative to improve water management in the Great Ruaha River has been launched during a recent workshop to review supply and demand challenges in the catchment area. 

The Great Ruaha Restoration Campaign (GRRC) brings together stakeholders impacted by water stress from across the public sector, private sector and civil society, to find collective solutions to water challenges in the basin.

The Rufiji Basin Water Board in collaboration with CEO Round Table of Tanzania, SAGCOT Centre, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Tanzania and 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) Tanzania Partnership held the workshop in Iringa town (500km from Dar es Salaam) to review and endorse the concept of the initiative.

The GRRC will be based on the long-awaited Rufiji Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Plan for the Great Ruaha sub-basin. This plan, promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and other resources.

The plan, led by Tanzania’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation with the Rufiji Basin Water Board, aims to bring about a cultural change in the way water is managed and used in a sustainable way.

“This Campaign will unite stakeholders in a co-ordinated, action-oriented coalition to find solutions to the basin’s water challenges,” said Onesmo Sigalla 2030 WRG Country Representative.

He also added that that the campaign aimed to enable the private sector to work alongside government and civil society groups to identify, discuss and address current and future water supply and demand challenges.

The campaign will share lessons from effective water stewardship projects inside or outside the catchment in order to promote, replicate and scale-up successful initiatives. This will be accompanied by project proposal development, financing, implementation and monitoring support.

The ‘collective action’ approach of the discussions to kick-start the initiative was endorsed by Eng. Emmanuel Kalobelo, Assistant Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, when launching the Campaign.

He observed: ‘Business caHe further commended 2030 WRG for mobilising stakeholders to develop credible interventions and coordinate existing plans to restore the flow of the Great Ruaha.

The Great Ruaha River Catchment is of high significance to the national economy. The region contains 50% of the country’s installed hydropower. In addition it hosts the largest National Park in the country with the largest number of Elephants (up to 20,000), highest number of bird species (about 4,000 species) and a steadily growing tourist turnover.