The Pangani Basin Water Board recently launched six new Water User Associations. The high profile event was attended by the Tanzania Deputy Minister for Water Mr Lwenge, and IUCN Regional Director Mr Kaka.
Hon. Gerson Lwenge, Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Water, stated in his launching speech that, “Tanzanians consider themselves as part of the problem of growing water stress in the globe, but most importantly also as part of the solution. At the government level, we are set to delegate powers to manage water resources to users themselves, as indicated in the National Water Sector Development Strategy. This is providing water users with an opportunity to play a central role in solving water related stresses.”
Sharing the same opinion, the Regional Director for IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Region, Mr. Ali Kaka, and the UNDP Regional Technical Advisor for Water, Ms. Akiko Yamamoto, both commented that the event marked an outstanding initiative for Tanzania and East Africa. Ms Yamamoto when recounting what she has seen as part of her daily duties as a regional advisor, said “I have been around the world and have seen a lot of initiatives but none compares to this that gives powers to communities in the manner that will contribute to solving global challenges”.
On the inaugural day, Mr. Kaka said “initiatives like these need to be sustained by backing them with legal instruments”. He added that “IUCN will continue to work with the Tanzania government to ensure efficient and effective operationalisation of Water User Associations and Integrated Water Resource Management approaches through the Global Water Initiative”.
The new Water Users Associations launched included: Upper Kikuletwa, Lower Kikuletwa, Sanya-Kware, Karanga-Kikafu-Weruweru (in Kikuletwa sub catchment), Pangani Mainstem and Zigi Mkulumuzi.
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