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Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) 2021

Reliable Water to Rural Districts in Tanzania - Studies of water availability, quality and customer perception in the districts of Hanang, Mbulu and Mkalama

Evang, Ingebjørg Hovland ; Bakken, Nina Bjørnvold

Titre : Reliable Water to Rural Districts in Tanzania - Studies of water availability, quality and customer perception in the districts of Hanang, Mbulu and Mkalama

Auteur : Evang, Ingebjørg Hovland ; Bakken, Nina Bjørnvold

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Grade : Master’s thesis in Civil and Environmental Engineering 2021

Résumé
Almost half of the rural Tanzanian population is without access to an improved water source. Consequently, they are prone to diseases caused by contaminated water and they have to spend a significant amount of time to collect water. Access to an improved water source for all people is essential to ensure economic, environmental and social sustainability. Changing precipitation patterns and rapid population growth stress an already strained water supply situation in Tanzania. As a measure to adapt to climate change reliance on groundwater is expanding. Groundwater is little affected by unstable precipitation patterns and is thus seen as a reliable water source. The groundwater must have sufficient capacity and be of satisfactory quality to be a reliable water source. This thesis evaluates groundwater reliability in Hanang, Mbulu and Mkalama districts in Tanzania in terms of availability, management and quality. Sufficient supply is investigated based on groundwater availability and management. By remote monitoring of the groundwater table, this thesis found that groundwater availability is reliable and further extraction can be performed. Groundwater reliability in terms of management faces challenges in order to supply sufficient amounts year-round. Our results show that people’s satisfaction with the water services is not reflected by the performance of the Community-Owned Water Supply Organizations (COWSOs) but is influenced by other factors. Community-members’ level of satisfaction is strongly impacted by having a long distance to the well and having to use a local well as a non-improved water source in the dry season. Therefore, effort should focus on providing safe water to remote areas, particularly in the dry season. As for quality, high fluoride levels threaten the groundwater reliability in Tanzania. This thesis investigates the potential of various fluoride adsorbents. H2SO4-treated activated alumina exhibits high fluoride adsorption but is too costly to adapt in poor rural settings. Adsorption with moringa and neem leaves was investigated as a low-cost alternative. This study found that adsorption with moringa and neem leaves is not suitable for poor, rural settings. This thesis shows that groundwater in Hanang, Mbulu and Mkalama districts in Tanzania has reliable availability but do not exhibit sufficient supply due to management challenges. In areas with excessive fluoride levels, groundwater quality is not reliable due to lack of appropriate fluoride removal methods for poor, rural settings. By addressing these challenges, potential opportunities to enhance progress rate towards obtaining reliable groundwater supply are revealed.

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