Assessment of Demographic Impacts on Accessibility to Potable Water: A Case Study of Mwanga District, Tanzania
Keywords:Assessment, demographic impact, accessibility, potable water, climate change
AbstractThe debate on the impacts of large populations over fixed resources in developing countries is ongoing. However, the degree of impacts varies from one area to another depending on the variability of physical and social-economic factors. This study assessed the impact of population increase on accessibility to potable water supply in Mwanga District using Kileo village case study for the purpose of uncovering the major demographic factor inter alia which affect availability and accessibility of potable water provide possible strategies reached through a participatory approach to alleviate the problems. Quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to collect data using questionnaires and interviews administered to 120 respondents whom 70 were women and 50 men including key informants. Findings showed that, the study area experienced high population increase in disharmony with accessibility to potable water supply to households for different domestic uses. As a result, the local government had limited funds for the construction of water infrastructure, climate change related to long droughts contributed to reduction of water sources. The general water shortage had various social economic impacts to the population in the study area. They included increased spread of waterborne diseases; the majority poor could not afford to buy water from private water suppliers; and women and children walked long distances to fetch water. The study concluded that, the increase in population corresponded with the negative effects of accessing to potable water compounded by climate change. Recommended the formation of village water committee to supervise and, in consultations with other stakeholders, find alternative ways of getting potable water for the growing population such as drilling water, protection and conservation of catchment areas; and fundraising to initiate community water projects.