The need to enforce minimum environmental flow requirements in Tanzania to preserve estuaries: case study of mangrove-fringed Wami River estuary

Kiwango, Halima, Njau, Karoli N., and Wolanski, Eric (2015) The need to enforce minimum environmental flow requirements in Tanzania to preserve estuaries: case study of mangrove-fringed Wami River estuary. Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology, 15 (4). pp. 171-181.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecohyd.2015....
 
5
5


Abstract

The importance of restoring and maintaining environmental flows for sustaining the ecosystem integrity of rivers has been recognized in policies and legal frameworks in many countries. However this is routinely not implemented in Tanzania as exemplified by the case of the Wami River estuary, which plays a vital role in processing riverine nutrients, trapping sediment, recycling nutrients in the mangroves, and supporting the ecology of the Saadani National Park and the livelihood of the local communities. Our study reveals that currently the estuary is ecologically healthy but it is threatened by both increasing sedimentation and declining freshwater flow caused by decreasing rainfall – possibly linked with climate change – and by increasing water demand in the watershed for artisanal and large scale agriculture and irrigation schemes. Environmental flow assessment for the Wami River (with exclusion of estuary) has been done and the minimum flows were recommended but they are not enforced. We recommend that the responsible authority (Wami-Ruvu Basin Water Office) enforce its own environmental flow recommendations in order to maintain a healthy estuarine ecosystem and regulate water usage in the watershed. A similar recommendation also holds for all other rivers and estuaries in Tanzania.

Item ID: 41288
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: minimum environmental flow requirement, salinity, sedimentation, mangroves, fisheries, wildlife
ISSN: 2080-3397
Funders: Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2015 03:45
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 35%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 35%
01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 0102 Applied Mathematics > 010202 Biological Mathematics @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 5
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page