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Tanzania hit by water shortages as rivers dry up

Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania president

Fridoline Mtunguja, 56, has never been as busy during the 19 years he has delivered water across Dar-es-Salaam as he has been this past month.

“I am working morning until night,” said Mtunguja. “I have not seen a problem like this for a long time and we don’t know how long it will continue.”

At the start of November, authorities in Dar-es-Salaam declared a water shortage and began rationing throughout Tanzania’s largest city, home to more than six million people.

While mid-October spells the start of the short rains, the country has instead experienced record high temperatures and little rainfall – associated with climate change. In Dar-es-Salaam, temperatures reached 33.8 degrees Celsius (92.84 degrees Fahrenheit), an increase of 2.2C (4F) compared with the average temperature in November.

As a result, the city’s main source of water, the Ruvu River, has reached dangerously low levels – leaving Dar-es-Salaam with a deficit of nearly 100 million litres (26.5 million gallons) of water. While the Dar-es-Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA) initially estimated the rationing would last for a day, one month later many parts of the city are still without a regular water supply.



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