Supporting water sector development

Project description

Title: Supporting water sector development in Tanzania
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ)
Country: Tanzania
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019


Almost three quarters of Tanzania’s urban population live in poverty-stricken areas without a basic drinking water supply and sanitation that complies with human rights. The protection of water resources and supply security are not guaranteed because of population and economic growth and the foreseeable impacts of climate change.


The conditions for pro-poor water supply and sanitation, including climate-sensitive water resources management, have been strengthened.


The programme supports national structure-building measures, promotes selected water utilities in the regions and advises the authorities responsible for water resources management in the Lake Rukwa and Lake Nyasa water basins.

The programme also promotes the human right to water supply and sanitation through its interventions and helps improve living conditions for the poor urban population. Thus regulations are being amended to benefit the disadvantaged urban population, for example. The programme is supporting the Tanzanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI) in undertaking investment measures to supply poor urban areas. Measures to improve water supply and sanitation in selected towns and cities serve as models for similar interventions in other urban areas. The German consulting firm GFA is providing support on planning and implementing these measures.

The programme’s priority areas pertaining to water resources security are climate-related data management, adaptation to climate change and access to financing, including the Green Climate Fund. Companies, government authorities and civil society jointly implement projects to minimise water risks in cooperation with the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP).

The programme has four components:

  1. General conditions and financing in the sector

  2. Regulating commercially operated water and wastewater companies

  3. Water supply and sanitation in poor urban areas

  4. Water resources management adapted to meet the challenges of climate change.


Comprehensive policy and strategy documents have been drawn up and adopted for the water sector. Laws governing water supply, sanitation and water resources management now provide the legal basis for ongoing reforms.

Advisory services and training provided by the programme have made workflows more efficient and improved the capacities of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the more than 100 water and wastewater companies in the country. The regulatory body has introduced better monitoring and advisory mechanisms to address tariff issues, water quality and economically sound management practices. Water utilities are now in a position to ensure sustainable water supply and sanitation in the areas they serve. The introduction of a new performance evaluation system has allowed basin water boards to significantly enhance the results of their work, for instance on data management and water management.

Tanzanian experts and decision-makers have become familiar with principles such as decentralised ownership in the organisation and operation of rural water supply systems and efficient management practices and cost recovery in the provision of urban water services. Greater attention is being devoted to poverty orientation, gender and human rights elements in water supply and sanitation.

A nationwide dialogue platform led by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation has been established. It serves as a central forum for discussion and decision-making on climate change issues in the water sector.

Additional information