Tanzania drills 10 dams as water decreases in major river

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Authorities in Tanzania’s southern Ruaha National Park said on Monday they have embarked on the drilling of 10 makeshift dams to provide water to wild animals after water in a major river flowing into the park has decreased due to ongoing dry spells.

Godwell Ole Meing’ataki, assistant conservation commissioner and commanding officer for the Ruaha National Park, said the drilling of the 10 dams started on Oct. 17 after water in the Great Ruaha River decreased in the past two months.

“Water level in the river has decreased because of low seasonal rainfall,” Ole Meing’ataki told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

He said six out of the 10 dams have already been drilled in different parts of the national park, covering an area of 20,226 square kilometers, making it one of the largest national parks in Africa.

He said each of the dams has capacity to store 100,000 liters of water, providing huge relief to wild animals, including hippos, elephants and buffaloes.

“The national park authorities are continuing with the drilling of the remaining four dams before the water shortage gets out of control,” said Ole Meing’ataki.

On Sept. 2, the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) issued an alert over an imminent seasonal rainfall deficit that was scheduled to begin in October to December, saying various water-sensitive sources, including rivers, were likely to be affected.

TMA said the diminished rainfall will affect sectors such as health, agriculture and food security, livestock and fisheries, natural resources, tourism and wildlife. Enditem

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