The agricultural sector is the leading sector of the economy and accounts for about 45.6 percent of GDP and about 50 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

Environment and Pollution.

Adverse effects of Pollution.


Agriculture; the agricultural sector is the main source of employment and livelihood for more than two-thirds of the Tanzanian population. It is an important economic sector in terms of food production, employment generation, production of raw material for industries, and generation of foreign exchange earnings. The agricultural sector is the leading sector of the economy and accounts for about 45.6 percent of GDP (Economic Survey, 2005), and about 50 percent of foreign exchange earnings. The government all along has been putting in place enabling environment for increased private investment in the agricultural sector. In 2005, the number of private investors in the sector increased to 169 from 145 in 2004, equivalent to an increase of 16.6 percent.

Water Pollution.

The state of water pollution in Tanzania may be described as follows:

  1. The deterioration of quality of ground and surface water sources especially lakes and rivers flowing through the cities of Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha and Mbeya and the municipalities of Moshi and Morogoro. 
  2. Pollution of both surface and ground water resources due to excessive and irrational use of agrochemicals in catchment areas.

Cost of Water Pollution.

The National Economy In the absence of sustainable use of water resources, Tanzania is likely to face ever growing water pollution problems from unsustainable use of its water resources in the quest for poverty reduction. The cost of treatment of ailments associated with water pollution and the resultant productive time lost due to illness is most likely to be enormous. About 68 percent and 45 percent of the urban and rural population, respectively have access to piped and safe water. The cost of providing clean water amounts to USD 290 million per annum. This is based on an estimated per capita use of 20 litres per day in rural areas and 50 litres per day in urban areas at a ratio of 3:1 for rural-urban population. The cost of water delivery is estimated at 35 US cents per litre (Mariki et al., 2003). It is apparent from this estimate that water pollution is undermining the efforts of the Government to eradicate poverty.

Implementing measures from the communal level is the first step in creating a better tomorrow and ensuring sustainable water management and continuity.  

Industrial Pollution.

Industrial water pollution probably the most serious source of water pollution in urban areas in Tanzania can result from industrial activities. About 80% of industries in Tanzania are located in urban areas and over 50% of these are found in large towns, mainly Dar es Salaam. However, many of these industries were established without adequate environmental attention, as a result they have been operating without waste treatment facilities, some for more than 40 years (Mato, 2002). The wastes from the industries are disposed of in inland rivers, depressions, pits, or on land. Industrial effluents have been reported to pollute rivers like Msimbazi in Dar es Salaam, Karanga in Moshi and Mwirongo in Mwanza.