RUFIJI BASIN WATER OFFICE (RBWO)
The Rufiji Basin Water Office (RBWO) was established after the inauguration of the first Basin Water Board (RBWB) on the 14/9/1993. It is one of the nine river basins declared in 1992 by Minister responsible for water affairs. The Office has been established in accordance to the Act No.11 of 2009. The Rufiji Basin Water Office has its Headquarters in Iringa Municipal Town. RBWO is under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. All its workers are employed by this MoWI.
There are ten members of the RBWB. They are drawn from public institutions and the private sector (including representatives of NGO’s, Farmers and Livestock keepers, and women). The Minister of Water and Irrigation appoints the Chairman and the members of the Board.
The main objectives of the Office are in accordance to the National Water Law namely:
DESCRIPTION OF THE RUFIJI BASIN
The Rufiji Basin covers an area of 183,791 square kilometres (about 20% of Tanzania). The river drains into the Indian Ocean. The Basin is situated between Longitudes 33o55’E and 39o25’E and between Latitudes 5o35,S and 10o45’S. The altitude of the basin rises from 0 at the Indian Ocean to above 2,960 meters above mean sea level (mamsl) in the highlands in Mbeya Region.
The land use in the Basin includes agriculture, mining, forestry, livestock keeping, fishing, wild life, navigation and human settlements.
The Rufiji Basin comprises of four major rivers namely:
The climate in the basin differs from the coast to the highlands in the upper parts of the catchments. For instance, except for the lower parts of the basin, which experience two rainy seasons, the largest portion is characterized by unimodal rainfall. The Average rainfall varies from 400mm in the drier areas to 2000mm in wetter parts.
Regions and Districts covered by the Rufiji River Basin
The Basin is characterised by many wetlands both in the highlands and the lowlands. The major wetlands are the Utengule in the Great Ruaha and the Kibasila in the Kilombero. The mangrove in the Rufiji river delta, are also a special type of vegetation in the Basin.