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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 6: Gender and Community Related Aspects of Rainwater Catchment

Paper 6.6

Ask the People: Experience of Makong'endela: Rock Catchment Dam in the Masasi District, Tanzania

Shaib H. Geugeu
P. O Box 141
Mtwara, Tanzania


There are many good people and organizations who wish to solve peoples' water problems. Such groups have very good ideas but in most cases they lack the approach to select the right source or project which can be sustained both socially and economically.

In most cases feasibility studies are done thoroughly only from the economic point of view, while the social aspect falls to the wayside. The question of what the community will think about it, is often not realized until implementation or towards the end of the project.

This is the case of a rock catchment dam introduced at Makong'endela village in the Masasi district, in the Mtwara region of Tanzania. There is so much labor involved in it, it led villagers to believe that there must be a better and easier way of solving their water problems. Nevertheless, the government authorities have forced people out of their villages. At this point, the project is incomplete and the villagers are refusing to deal with water issues. This is a classic case where people should have been given alternatives and asked to come up with the solution that agrees best with them.

PDF of full document (4pp, 18kb)

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