Igunga is one of the driest districts of Tanzania. The erratic and insufficient rainfall and the inefficiently storage of water causes big problems for livestock and agricultural production. To increase the water availability throughout the year and promote more efficient use of water water buffering solutions are used and eco-sanitation measures taken. The innovative water management approach 3R is used. This offers appropriate, effective and sustainable solutions to Recharge, Retain and Re-use (3R) water sources, by buffering the landscape, leading to higher availability of (ground) water.

Water buffering interventions
The water buffering principle is a simple but effective technique. By retaining and storing water into retaining structures throughout the landscape it is possible to extend the temporal availability of water well into the dry season. Through different techniques, rainfall and runoff is intercepted and stored in the soil or in tanks. This can be used for agricultural production or household use during dry periods. The water is consequently available when it is needed most. This stimulates economic activities, improves livelihoods and makes environmental services sustainable. The water buffering intervention is designed in a participatory way by analyzing the landscape and differentiate technologies for specific uses. Not all types of water use require the same water quality.

To implement and manage the 3R approach, members of 9 water and natural resource management committees receive trainings to expand their existing knowledge on water operations, maintenance and management of water resources, as well as other trainings on natural resource management.

The water buffering interventions are combined with the introduction of improved sanitation techniques. These contribute not only to the protection of water sources, but also greatly improve people’s resistance to health risks.