News and Resources

Population, Migration, and Water Conflicts in the Pangani River Basin, Tanzania

Although essential for human survival, water is inherently inequitable, as it is rarely evenly distributed among populations. Local users compete to obtain their share, which can intensify existing tensions and sometimes lead to violence where the supply of water does not meet demand (Gleick, 2006; Huggins, 2000).

Water availability is one of the major constraints on economic development,
particularly for developing countries like Tanzania, because lack of water limits food production and economic activities such as industry and commerce (Madulu & Zaba, 1998).

Many conditions may trigger conflicts, including jurisdictional ambiguities, miscommunication, and competition between sectors and users. In this article, I describe how population growth and migration in Tanzania’s Pangani River basin arguably the most waterstressed basin in the country have intensified local water conflicts.

Resolving these conflicts requires understanding the socio-cultural context of the local communities and increasing stakeholder involvement in water management. For my case study, I selected about 10 percent of the households in every village in the study area (see map) with the help of village


Attachment: attachmentMbonile12.pdf