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United Republic of Tanzania

Environment and health

The major environmental problems remain the deterioration of water quality and pollution of water resources from natural and anthropogenic activities, already identified by the 1997 National Environment Policy. They are evident in many parts of the country in particular for surface water (MW, 2014). The quality of groundwater is generally good to acceptable for most uses. Salinity and high fluoride concentrations may exceed standards in the Pangani Basin.

The country’s surface waters have deteriorated over the years due to both point and non-point sources of pollution. Rivers in urban centres, for example Msimbazi in Dar es Salaam, have been used as dumping sites for waste from various sources, polluting these rivers and thus making the water unsafe both for domestic consumption or irrigation, without costly treatment. In addition, outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid are common in both urban and rural areas of Tanzania (NBS, 2015).

Salinity is building up in some irrigation scheme as a result of poor irrigation management and lack of adequate infrastructures (MAFSC, 2013).

Finally, tremendous increasing trends of flows in most of the rivers and water levels in dams and lakes have been observed from 2006 to 2014, in particular in Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika with an increase of the latter’s water level by 2 meters.


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