Urban water supply shortages: a case study of Tabora town

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study is directed at investigating urban water shortages with Tabora town being the case study. Methods used in data gathering involved structured interviews for small water consumers, oral interviews with water technicians at the Tabora Water Department office, Igombe dam and at Kazen Hill. Oral interview was also used to collect information on water distribution problems from Ward Secretaries, the Tabora Town Director and Coopers and Lybrand Associates Limited personnel who are carrying out a study on organisation of urban water supply in Tanzania. Similarly, extensive reading of various consultant’s reports of different urban water supply projects was done to get an insight into the urban water shortages in Tanzania. Research findings show that the water shortage problem for Tabora Township is of two types i.e. low pressure in distribution system and complete lack of water during certain hours of the days. The problem is characterized by an irregular occurrence but is well pronounced in the mornings and afternoons and becoming acute during the dry seasons. It becomes worse during 1979/1980 paralysing economic activities in the town. Major causes of Tabora urban water shortages were identified by the research as poor distribution i.e. few public standpoint and frequent power interruptions. Other causes are leakages of water pipes because of frequent burst caused by corrosion and old age. Likewise, the demand for water in the town is greater than the supply and this overworks distribution system leading to burst if pipes. Addition of public water kiosks is recommended. Another recommendation is efficient use of the existing water supply system through leakage detection programme, extension of metering network; and repair of meters. Proper meters reading and billing are also recommended. Lastly, research on the quality of water drawn from wells and springs during acute water shortages and the effect of water supply interruptions on the health of the people is suggested for further investigation.
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Water supply, Tabora (town), Tanzania
Sana, F. B (1980) Urban water supply shortages: a case study of Tabora town, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (