Songwe River Basin East Africa (Malawi & Tanzania)

Songwe River Basin East Africa (Malawi & Tanzania)

  • It lies in the southwest of Tanzania and north of Malawi
  • Basin area is 15 000ha with a population of more than 341 000
  • Up to 80% of the basin population consists of rural poor.
  • Population growth is at 2.88%, and poverty have led to significant population pressure on the environment and degradation of the basin’s natural resource.
  • Erosion and other forms of land degradation are prevalent in the SRB, which adversely impact socio-ecological functions.
  • Governments of Tanzania and Malawi are aiming at reducing poverty, improving human health and livelihoods, ensuring water, food, and energy security, mitigating floods, and enhancing sustainable river basin management.

  • The governments are planning to construct a Hydropower Plant (HPP); Irrigation Schemes; River Stabilization on the floodplain; Water Supply; Rural Electrification; and Fisheries, Tourism and Roads, including non-structural measures for flood control and environmental conservation.

Local energy access: 39.4% (Tanzania), 13.4% (Malawi). Energy demand 145 GWh/annum, Planned energy generation projects:180–340MW.Firewood, charcoal, solar and diesel are the major sources of energy. Hydropower plant capacity of 180.2MW is proposed

Construction of water reservoir with a capacity of 330Mm3. More than 4500 people use the water. 30-50% of the population lack access to a safe water supply.

Irrigation scheme for 6200ha.

Energy Transition Challenges

  • Reaction to future realisation of infrastructures (i.e. Songwe new dam)
  • The relations that exist within the region, the basin and its riparian countries
  • Environmental security in the river basin
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