Tanzania Water Resources Integration Development Initiative

06Nov 2019
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Tanzania Water Resources Integration Development Initiative
  • Blending Remote Sensing and Ground Station Data for Better Decisions on Water

Basin Water Boards (BWBs) make decisions regarding water resources management on a daily basis including issuing and reviewing water use permits, monitoring quality and quantity of water, and other important activities needed to protect and conserve water for current and future generations.

To make effective and informed decisions, BWBs need reliable and accurate data to answer questions related to supply,  demand, and quality of water.

In meeting this important challenge, Wami/Ruvu and Rufiji BWBs are continuously working to enhance their data preparedness and capacity to analyze and communicate information to water users and decision makers inthese two basins which supply water to more than 20 million people.

In September, technical staff from the BWBs and the Ministry of Water participated in a training aimed at equipping them with tools to enhance hydroclimate data quality through integration of Earth Observation data on climate, weather and land use. BWBs are blending physical data with satellite observations of historical rainfall and temperature using GeoCLIM and the Early Warning eXplorer (EWX) web-based mapping tool which allows users to visualize continental-scale rainfall estimates (RFE), land surface temperature (LST), and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI).

This blended approach draws on a network of 120 physical hydroclimatic stations in the two basins and satellite data tocomplete timeseries datasets, fill gaps in station data, and have a more accurate ‘picture’ of what is happening where physical station data does not exist. Outputs will be used in hydrological modeling and water risk assessments which are relevant for water permitting and allocation by the BWBs.

This capacity building is part of the partnership between the Ministry of Water, SERVIR East & Southern Africa (a program of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD)), and USAID/WARIDI to improve resilient management of water resources and services under a changing climate.

WARIDI has supported the BWBs to install an expanded ground monitoring network of 34 new hydroclimate stations that use “citizen science” in cooperation with private and public partners. In addition to improving decision making on issuing water permits, this partnership is improving the accuracy of publicly available gridded CHIRPS rainfall and CHIRTS temperature data by increasing the number of stations from 10 to 120 which will now be part of the global and open-source CHIRPS and CHIRTS datasets.

Early Warning eXplorer three-month cumulative precipitation for June, July and August 2019 in Iringa with comparison to mean for three-month periods since the year 2000. 

                                       WARIDI Team Meets to Plan for Year 5 Activities

WARIDI staff held their Year 5 Annual Work Planning and team building retreat which took place in Bagamoyo, from August 13 to 16th. This year’s work planning represents the last work plan of the activity and focused on WARIDI achievements and results from the last year, lessons learned, and approaches for strengthening the self-reliance of partnersand planned activities in the coming year.

Staff reflected on some of the notable and quite significant results achieved in WASH, water resources governance, and private sector engagement.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Services

• 203,249 people are expected to have access to improved water supply service as of October 2019 and a total of 520,000 by November 2020 

• 977,409 people now have access to improved sanitation facilities 

• 498 villages have been verified for universal sanitation coverage of any latrine type and no open defecation (OD)

• 635,000 people have access to a dedicated hand washing station with soap in their household

• Use of multiple WASH products including Hedhi cups, water filters, Glory pads, SATO latrine pans, and mini drip irrigation kits Water Resources Governance

• 142 Community Owned Water Supply Organizations (COWSOs) have significantly improved capacity to provide clean water 

• 105 institutions have improved capacity to address climate change 

• 277 institutions have improved capacity in land and water management Private Sector

• 3,418 farmers, 74 percent of whom are women or youth, have been empowered to apply new technologies and management practices 

• 15 partnerships have been established for water provision, sanitation, water resource management and/or stewardship

• 4,496 farmers have acquired skills to increase their capacity to adapt to impacts of climate change through training on climate resilient livelihood interventions 

• 768 Microenterprises have been trained on Business Development Skills WARIDI staff are excited to continue building on these achievements in the coming year in collaboration with national, regional, and local government partners and institutions.

WARIDI team during the planning meeting for Year 5.

UPWARD: Changing Social Norms in Water-Related Decision Making

The WARIDI Activity has a goal of getting at least 430 community leaders and resource personnel to promote gender equity and women’s and youth empowerment within the governance of water resources. Based on an initial gender and youth assessment, the  Activity has been working to increase meaningful participation of women in water-relateddecision-making, also known as UPWARD (Uplifting Women’s Participation in Water Related Decision-making).

The UPWARD intervention was implemented in two communities: Kanolo (Kilombero District) and Lulanzi (Kilolo District) in which WARIDI is supporting Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities. UPWARD engaged communities to identify and challenge gender norms which suppress women’s roles in decision making, examine expectations of community leaders, and propose and apply inclusive and more equitable ways of making water-related decisions. Using community facilitation teams, gendered social norms that disadvantaged women were reversed by creating awareness on the importance of meaningful participation of women in decision making.

Presentations and results of this activity are being shared through a series of learning events with national and local stakeholders over the next few months.

Shamsa Suleiman, USAID Program Specialist on Gender and Youth shares lessons, recommendations for improvement, and opportunities for scaling UPWARD during a September learning event on gender. 

Partner Scale-up Initiative for Sustainable Supply of Hygiene Products

The Micro Enterprises (MEs) support program is among initiatives being implemented by WARIDI to develop sustainable commercial markets for WASH products and services in up to 20 districts. The program provides support to MEs through the provision of Business Development Services and match-making, whereby private companies develop distributionand supply networks for rural and peri-urban markets to supply affordable and quality WASH products.

To date, the program has successfully provided business training in marketing, basic accounting, and business planning to 484 shops and stores in Pwani, Morogoro, Iringa, Njombe and Mbeya regions. WARIDI has supported MEs to access innovative and new sanitation and hygiene products. Anuflo Industries, the producer and supplier of Hedhi menstrual cups, is among WARIDI partners being linked with trained MEs. In September, Anuflo Industries carried-out successful marketing campaigns in Morogoro and Mbeya regions and conducted Business to Business (B2B) meetings with current and potential wholesalers and retailers.

During Anuflo Industry’s self-funded outreach and marketing campaign in Morogoro and Mbeya regions, the company conducted shop visits to provide marketing materials and sold 240 hedhi cups units in Morogoro and 360 in Mbeya. This represents an important step forward in WARIDI’s efforts to strengthen relationships between WASH product suppliers and MEs that will ultimately lead to a sustainable Anuflo supply chain. The CEO and founder of Anuflo Industries, Flora Njelekela, says “A lot has been done by WARIDI so it’s time for us to take over these initiatives and be there to serve the community even when WARIDI is gone.” She says her company is eager to continue with marketing campaigns in more LGAs where WARIDI is working. Anuflo is currently signing agreements with MEs to deliver products on credit.

Pharmacy owner Ruth Nyagawa in Mufindi DC holds up two of Anuflo’s Hedhi cups during September ME visits by the company. 

Rufiji Basin Water Board Trains Journalists on Water Resources Reporting

Water related issues, especially on Water Resources Management (WRM), are not Shamsa Suleiman, USAID Program Specialist on Gender and Youth shares lessons, recommendations for improvement, and opportunities for scaling UPWARD during a September learning event on gender. Pharmacy owner Ruth Nyagawa in Mufindi DC holds up two of Anuflo’s Hedhi cups during September ME visits by the company. frequently covered by the media in Tanzania. To improve transparency and awareness on the subject, the Rufiji Basin Water Board (BWB) with support from WARIDI, organized a two-day workshop for journalists on WRM issues in the Rufiji Basin.

During the workshop participants from Ministries, the Rufiji Basin, Journalists, and WARIDI staff discussed challenges and opportunities in raising awareness of water-related issues and the roles and responsibilities of the Rufiji BWB. Athuman Shariff, Director of Communications for the Ministry of Water (MoW) shared insights on writing impactfulstories on water issues of interest to various stakeholders and broader public. 

Journalists mentioned challenges to increasing coverage of WRM including lack of available financial resources for travel to the field for visits and a historical lack of collaboration between basin technical staff and journalists. To address these challenges, a journalist’s network for reporting WRM issues is being formed on WhatsApp whereby journalists andBWB staff will share information on WRM issues. Journalists committed to increasing coverage of stories on water and the Rufiji BWB are planning to produce a video documentary aimed at raising awareness on WRM and the Basin’s activities. The Rufiji BWB will also engage the journalists as much as possible in its activities including providingsupport for field travel where feasible.

Emmanuel Lengwa, a journalist working with the IPP Media Independent Television (ITV) said it was a great opportunity for him to attend the workshop because he acquired a new awareness on water resources management. “I did not know that if someone wants to drill a shallow well or a borehole to get water, they need to request a permit from the respective water basin.” Muhammad Allan Nyaulingo working with EATV said. “The workshop has been an eye opener to us, we are going to write water related stories with impact.”

A group of journalists discuss opportunities for improving water resources reporting during the Rufiji Basin Water Board’s workshop for journalists held in September. 

Arnold Lucas Mapinduzi, an official from the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) said journalists have an important role to play in natural resources management.

“We must conserve nature including water catchments.” He asked journalists to help create awareness among all stakeholders by sharing information on water resources management and the need to protect the environment. “Information is power. Through communication skills, journalists can help in creating awareness on these issues.”

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