WEF tools

Songwe River Basin

The Songwe River Basin: Water-Energy-Food Nexus assessment of the Songwe River Basin Programme outcomes identified by the Governments of Malawi and Tanzania

The Songwe River Basin (SRB) lies in the southwest of Tanzania and north of Malawi. The SRB forms 200 km of the international border between the two countries. The basin area is 4,243 km² and the population in the basin is over 341,000.There is a fertile alluvial soil and abundant water resources (people rely on the land for their livelihoods). 52,000 peopleare living in the flood plain and suffer from flooding and land loss. 80% of the basin's population are rural poor (average per capita income is ~ USD 386 per year) with 30%–50% lacking access to a safe water supply and 75% without access to electricity. The SRB experiences electricity shortages. In the basin the rapid population growth has contributed the degradation of the environment.

WEF-Tools qualitatively and quantitatively assess the Water-Energy-Food nexus in the Songwe River Basin where the main challenges recognised by the SRB Programme (SRBP) jointly developed by the Governments of both countries aim at reducing poverty, improving human health and livelihoods, ensuring water, food, and energy security, mitigating floods, and enhancing sustainable river basin management. The construction of a multi-purpose reservoir is a key objective of the SRBP. The reservoir is intended to supply water for ⁓180 MW hydropower plant, ⁓86000 dwellers, ⁓3000 ha of irrigation schemes in each country, and control floods in the lower part of the basin. WEF-Tools assesses the SRBP expected outcomes by applying an approach that starts drafting the conceptual framework of the SRB nexus system and progresses developing quantitative tools such as System Dynamics Models (SDMs) and suitable indicators for the assessment of different feasible sustainable development scenarios.