Regional Cooperation on Shared Watercourses: The Policy and Legal Framework on Transboundary Water Resources in Mainland Tanzania

Kennedy Gastorn
2014 Recht in Afrika  
Mainland Tanzania (Tanzania) is endowed with diverse water sources, some of which straddle national boundaries. 2 Tanzania is located within two regional economic blocks, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC), and it also borders the eight countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. The entire eastern part of Tanzania borders the Indian Ocean, which also houses the non-mainland
more » ... rritory of the United Republic of Tanzania, namely Zanzibar. All the neighbouring countries are state parties to SADC except Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi who are partner states to the EAC. This article discusses the existing policy and legal framework for the ownership, use, access, protection and management of transboundary water, which is defined as water resources contained within drainage or river basins which cross the geographical boundaries of and are shared with more than one sovereign country. 3 It examines the existing national framework as well as the regional and international framework relevant to Tanzania. The need for proper regulation of transboundary waters has never been more imminent because water-quality degradation along with the structural and physical scarcity of global water supplies are culminating in a diverse array of transboundary water conflicts, particularly among the riparian states. 4 Transboundary waters limit the discretion of nations under the international law principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources, under which a state has absolute powers over natural wealth and resources within its territorial boundaries. 5 Since all countries are generally hydrologically linked, it is necessary to negotiate and clarify the rights and obligations owed by a country regarding transboundary waters.
doi:10.5771/2363-6270-2014-2-187 fatcat:nkmh7vyb2rgq7azlmht3672rs4