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Rural Water Management in Africa: The Impact of Customary Institutions in Tanzania By ...

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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Rural Water Management in Africa:

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1. Research Problem

Water is one of the most important natural resources, without which life cannot exist. Households use water for drinking, cooking, sanitation, irrigating their crops, and watering their livestock. Water is also used for industrial production, water-based recreation, and transportation. Water provides energy through hydroelectric power and it affects environmental quality and food production. In that respect, the United Nations (UN) has designated water as a basic need and right for all human beings.1 Access to safe water is very important for human survival and crucial when addressing poverty and health problems. Without enough water for hygiene, diseases and misery will take their toll, and the health of human beings will suffer; and without sufficient water to consume, human beings will die.2

In sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries today, the demand for water resources is increasing. Rising demand is caused by rapid population growth, industrialization, and urbanization.3