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Public Participation in Integrated Water Resources Management: The Case of Tanzania

Effective and sustainable management of water resources is vital for ensuring sustainable development. However efforts of water resource management seem to demonstrate inappropriate practices, especially when compared to water consumption trends in developing countries in general, and sub-Saharan Africa in particular. Being a major and vital ingredient to human kind, water resources influence all sectors. However, there have been increased problems over time that subject water resources to a number of crisis and pressures. Poor water resources management have stimulated and sustained a number of problems related to health, socio-economic and environment, which need to be solved.

These problems are accelerated and magnified by the countries', communities' and individuals' struggles for economic and social development as many development initiatives are affected by water availability and vice versa. Integrated water resources management (IWRM), is a process, a change, and an approach that mainstream water resource use and management into the national economic in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. This paper analyses the importance of community participation in the process of IWRM. The paper describes reasons that justify the need for an IWRM approach and explains the rationale for community participation. Successful cases in community involvement have been cited from different areas to demonstrate the importance of IWRM. The paper concludes that the public/community involvement is crucial for a successful and sustainable water resource management. It has been emphasized that natural resources management related policies including water requires the use of knowledge, experience and opinions of local communities who are the key stakeholders in resource conservation. This could be ensured through public/community participation

Esther W. Dungumaro and Ndalahwa F. Madulu

WaterNet/Warfsa Symposium: Water Demand Management for Sustainable Development, Dar es Salaam, October, 2002 (2002)

Geographic Focus: Tanzania

Resource Link: www.waternetonline.ihe.nl/aboutWN/pdf/Dungumaro&Madulu.pdf

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