Water: Source of Life and Conflict.

by JRajotte on October 18, 2013 - 11:48pm

       In the article Conflict Over Water Rise in Tanzania published on Trust.org on October 18,2013 , it is said that global warming has made water resources in the Tanzania scarcer. According to the article this worsens the current availability of water in the region. Within 3 years there are around 2000 herders with around 200000 animals who have moved to the area straining the resources and degrading the land. It is also stated that out of 3.4 million people living around the basin 80% of them live of farming. It is also said in the article that 90% of the water is used for irrigation and generation of electricity. The main tension in the area is between the farmers and the Maasai farmers, which have escalated in violence between the two groups. Other factors that contribute to this problem are deforestation, farming and livestock raising.

       I believe that there should be more government intervention in order to control the resource, or maybe reforestation would help with a part of the problem. A major road block would be controlling the resource itself since it’s unthinkable to deny the lively hood of people and endanger them, by limiting water. The best solution would be education of the local population and if the two groups would work together rather than against each other maybe it would be possible for them to resolve this issue.


Wow! This is an extremely interesting topic. Living in the United States it is hard to imagine having something so basic, as water, be an issue or even something someone would fight over. Personally, I know that I always have access to a water bottle and drink approximately six bottles of water a day. Therefore, I have never thought that I am lucky to have water. It is imperative that more people are socially aware of this problem in Tanzania and in all parts of the world that are not as fortunate as we are in the United States. Never having a first hand experience I know that I cannot relate but I do agree when you say that the government needs to intervene or at least educate the public. Unfortunately, there are so many other major problems occurring that the things we see as miniscule are often times overlooked and I think this is a perfect example.

Living in the United States, it is all too easy to take the precious resources we have such great access to for granted. The clean water that we drink, use to shower, water our lawns, and wash our cars is so abundant in most places in the US. In other parts of the world, such as Tanzania, as you discussed, water can be so scarce that it becomes a source of conflict. In the United States we may think that it is strange and barbaric that there are violent outbreaks occurring over access to water, but because access to clean water has rarely been a problem for the majority of American history, it has almost been culturally ingrained in us that we do not need to worry about water. Although, we can never truly understand what it is like to have to live in a situation where water is so scarce, it is important that we realize how influential a water shortage can be in nations that are experiencing them. As water is such a vital resource, it is no wonder that tension has risen and even violence has broken out.

your post caught my because i couldnt imagine without water! in the united states we live with a privilege to have easy access to water everywhere. we need waster to survive but we take it for granted a lot. people in other countries like this one are running out of water.i couldnt imagine fighting over something so easily accessed here. i agree with your idea that the government should get involved somehow because people cant survive without water. it is a necessity to live. i also agree with your idea of the two groups working together, because if one group of people is running out of water in that area its just a matter of time that they will all run out of water.
your summary was very clear and i liked the ideas that you came up with as a resolution for this problem in Tanzania.

going to comment

These articles got my attention because where I live I have full access to water any time I want. The water in Canada is so clean that we can get it from the tap. I never have to think about not having water. I can buy water at the store and it's not that expensive. However the people in Tanzania are fighting for water. I can't imagine what's its like to fight for a basic need; to survive everyone needs water. I find this article is informative and neutral towards the two groups in conflict. I would insist that the government should make borders and invoke punitive measures on the abuse of water. It is unacceptable for the herders to barge in and take from villages they do not belong to. A more peaceful approach, I suggest, could be to exchange labour on the farmers’ fields for access to water for their cattle. I strongly agree that the government should educate the people on the sustainability of water in the region. For example, animals should not have priority access to water over people. If they don’t know how to keep the river healthy they might not even have a water source anymore regardless of climate changes.

About the author