Environmental Management

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 31–39 | Cite as

Water supply development and tariffs in Tanzania: From free water policy towards cost recovery

  • Damas A. Mashauri
  • Tapio S. Katko


The article describes the historical development of water tariff policy in Tanzania from the colonial times to present. After gaining independence, the country introduced “free” water policy in its rural areas. Criticism against this policy was expressed already in the 1970s, but it was not until the late 1980s that change became unavoidable. All the while urban water tariffs continued to decline in real terms. In rural and periurban areas of Tanzania consumers often have to pay substantial amounts of money for water to resellers and vendors since the public utilities are unable to provide operative service. Besides, only a part of the water bills are actually collected. Now that the free water supply policy has been officially abandoned, the development of water tariffs and the institutions in general are a great challenge for the country.

Key words

Tariffs Cost recovery Water policy Water vending Reselling Tanzania 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damas A. Mashauri
    • 1
  • Tapio S. Katko
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania
  2. 2.Institute of Water and Environmental EngineeringTampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland

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