Water, Agriculture, TANZANIA:
Livelihoods Threatened as Great Ruaha Dries

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DAR ES SALAAM - The Great Ruaha River, often referred to as Tanzania’s “ecological backbone” is delivering less and less water every year.
Officials from the Rufiji Water Basin Office, which administers the Ruaha basin, along with academics from Tanzania’s leading Sokoine University of Agriculture, warn that the river is under “alarming stress”.

Damian Gabagambi, an agricultural economist at SUA, told IPS he believes the crisis is largely due to an increasing number of farmers diverting the river for irrigation purposes.

He warns that the current management of natural resources is unsustainable and could result in irreparable damage to the environment and increase poverty.

Originating in the Kipengere mountains and stretching for roughly 84 000 kilometers, the river’s basin catchment area waters a massive expanse of Tanzania’s countryside and provides 70 percent of its hydro electric power. /IPS (END//2013)

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