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Dec 20, 2023
One Planet Laureate Candidate Leads Publication of New Study on the Sustainable Use of Tanzania’s Rufiji River Basin

Dr. Offoro Kimombo, an Environmental Scientist and a Lecturer at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), recently led a team in publishing a study on sustainable water management in Tanzania’s Rufiji River Basin.

The study sheds light on the progress made in understanding Environmental Flow (e-Flow) estimation, highlighting persistent challenges stemming from limited data and inadequate comprehension of ecohydrological processes. It emphasizes that preserving a dynamic e-flow is critical to ensuring that the basin remains a sustainable water resource for the residents.

Described by Offoro as the “breadbasket of Tanzania,” the Rufiji River Basin holds significance to the country’s economy. However, it grapples with mounting developmental pressures from various sectors, including hydropower, mining, agriculture, livestock, fishing, and tourism, necessitating effective management of the sub-catchment area to prevent significant environmental impacts.

” In light of escalating water scarcity and the community’s unyielding demand to access the basin, it is important that we deliver practical solutions that work not just for the environment but also for the well-being of the public,” asserts Offoro.

Offoro reveals the study results from the grant he received in 2022 to evaluate and inform the sustainable use of the river basin. The project’s primary objective was to establish a recommended environmental flow that would sustainably inform the basin’s policies, management, and/or operations.

Furthermore, Offoro’s research extends to investigating the impact of climate change on harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Tanzanian freshwater sources, aiming to improve monitoring and water quality management. This research has culminated in a groundbreaking study titled “Occurrence of Harmful Algal Blooms in Freshwater Sources of Mindu and Nyumba ya Mungu Dams, Tanzania. This study significantly enhances the monitoring of HABs contamination and its potential impact on water quality in Tanzanian reservoirs.

Offoro Kimombo is one of the candidates selected to participate in the One Planet Fellowship, a career development initiative that is building a robust pipeline of highly connected, inter-generational scientists equipped to use a gender lens to help Africa’s smallholder farmers cope with climate change.

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