Tanzania’s Multi-Sector Forum promotes water-smart infrastructure for a water-secure future
The Ministry of Water convened over 100 stakeholders in Dar Es Salaam mid-November for the second meeting of the annual Multi-Sectoral Forum for National Water Resources to chart a path towards the development of water-smart infrastructure to support sustainable growth in Tanzania. The forum, which brings together senior leaders from government, business, research institutions, and civil society, is the outcome of sustained collaboration between Tanzania 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) and the Ministry of Water to bridge the coordination gap between the various authorities engaged in water resources management (WRM). Launched in October 2017, it aims to foster collaboration for the development of a more efficient and sustainable WRM sub-sector and unlock opportunities for expanding business and improving local livelihoods through strengthened engagement with the private sector.
Sufficient and reliable supply of water will be necessary to expand the manufacturing sector, increase hydropower generation and intensify agricultural production in line with the nation’s goal of achieving middle-income status by 2025. Despite having abundant water resources, extreme hydrological variability means that during dry periods demand for water exceeds available supply by 50%. Under a business-as-usual scenario and factoring-in economic growth projections, demand will exceed supply twice over during dry periods come 2035.
Offer tangible infrastructure support
Developing the necessary water infrastructure to expand the amount of land under irrigation, improve industrial water use, and increase hydropower production is a priority, said Eng. Mbogo Futakamba, Chairperson of the National Multi Sectoral Forum on Water Resources Management. There is a “need to spend as much resources to offer communities with tangible infrastructure support as is on capacity building, formation of institutions and other forms of software support that we have thankfully received from our partners” he said.
Over the course of the two days, the government emphasized the benefits of increased private sector participation to accelerate the development of infrastructure projects in the sub-sector and highlighted the Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Plans (IWRMDPs) as the key vehicle to guide policy and investment in infrastructure development to deliver water-security for people, business, and the environment.
Accelerating delivery of projects
To support the financing and delivery of initiatives included the nine basin-level IWRMDPs, four dedicated working groups on IWRMDP implementation, irrigation financing for smallholder farmers, water stewardship standards, and catchment-level dialogue will be established. In addition to coordinating the working groups, Tanzania 2030 WRG will work closely with private sector participants to identify and take advantage of opportunities to play a more active role in accelerating delivery of IWRMDP projects.
Increased access to irrigation solutions
During the event, Tanzania 2030 WRG provided updates on the progress of a flagship Irrigation Financing Initiative that it developed through the national multi-stakeholder partnership. If its full ambition is realized, the initiative will see a substantial increase in smallholder farmer’s access to irrigation solutions. This will be achieved by firstly, identifying and incubating qualifying irrigation projects so that they are ready for financing by the public and private sector; and second, improving stakeholder coordination in smallholder agricultural value chains which are damaged by high transactional costs that ultimately lead to market failure.
Pilot to increase productivity and decrease water abstraction
The project leverages 2030 WRG’s extensive network of public and private stakeholders to identify, prioritize, incubate, and package irrigation financing opportunities that meet the requirements of funding sources from the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) under its Rural Innovation Fund (RIF) program. A planned pilot project will incubate 30 irrigation projects, each targeting 100 farmers, over a three-year period. It is expected that farmers reached would increase their productivity by 30 percent while simultaneously decreasing water abstraction by 50 percent.
Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Water Eng. Emmanuel Kalobelo called on attendees to work together to support the realization of the IWRMDPs.
“Projects identified in those Plans will only bear fruit with a joint effort of cross-sectoral collaborations and stakeholders participation” said Kalobelo. Their successful implementation “will affect nations’ plans for transformational development” and should be pursued “without further delay” he said.
Tanzania 2030 WRG has been working with the Ministry of Water on strengthening collaborative approached to water management in Tanzania since 2013. Together, Tanzania 2030 WRG and the ministry have fostered various national and catchment-level water stewardship and agricultural water efficiency initiatives to facilitate access to irrigation financing, promote water stewardship standards, improve catchment governance and restoration, and raise awareness around sustainable water management. Tanzania 2030 WRG looks forward to continued collaboration on the path to achieving water security for all.
2030 WRG Regional Communications Officer Africa
2030 WRG Global Communications Officer
Washington DC, USA
Photo by RAHIM ABAS KIOBYA on Unsplash