The orange river project increased irrigation thereby creating more land for agricultural development for example at the Buchuburg dam an increment of 28000 hectares of agricultural land was realized while at
Torquay more than 1200 hectares of land was added onto the existing land.

An increase in agricultural land also increased crop production to over 25%, especially in the production of fruits, vegetables, maize, wheat, groundnuts, cotton, and many others which were grown on a large scale thereby guaranteeing food security for the South Africans.

The dangers of severe droughts over a large area of the Karoo were greatly reduced through the artificial application of water and South Africa became a major producer of wool as a result of improved sheep rearing in the region.

Flood control was also undertaken through the building of dams, stabilizing of the river banks well as reducing silting, and all these reduced damages. It also helped to save funds that would have been spent on the flood damage repairs.

The creation of the large water reservoirs through damming helped to stabilize the water supply for the new and existing irrigation schemes and in addition helped to supply freshwater to the neighboring towns and urban centers like Kimberly Buchuburg, Clan Williams, and many others.

There has been the production of HEP for both domestic and industrial use for example 240 megawatts are produced at the vanderkloof power station. Over 500 megawatts from Gariep station and combined with power from other stations has provided much-needed HEP for both domestic and industrial purposes.

The success of the project made it a reference point and model scheme for setting up other multipurpose projects not only in the Republic of South Africa but also in the rest of Africa for example the Kainji project in Nigeria, Kariba project in Zambia, Kaborabosa in Mozambique as well as the Lesotho highlands water project.

Employment opportunities have been provided to a number of people of South Africans as farmers, engineers, transporters, and those employed in the various industries. This has made them earn a disposable income and thus improve their living standards.

The project and its various facilities like the dams and manmade lakes, the powerhouses, recreation facilities, and many others have promoted tourism as both local and foreign tourists have been attracted to the area so as to see the various facilities. This has earned the country foreign exchange.

There has been the development of social and economic infrastructures as schools, health centers, recreation facilities, and many others have been set up in the area either by the government as part of the scheme or by the various industries established as part of their cooperation social responsibility. This has improved people`s standards of living in the area.

There has been a modification of climate from a semi-desert climate to a modified sub-tropical type due to the reforestation and afforestation carried out in the area as part of the project.

Foreign exchange is acquired after the export of power to neighboring Namibians as well as the export of various irrigation fields to other countries.

There has been the attraction of settlements into a formerly sparsely and underdeveloped area. North of South Africa was sparsely populated and rather undeveloped due to the harsh climatic conditions which cannot support agriculture and other activities but the success of the project attract settlements into the area.

There has been the development of towns and urban centers which started off as small trading centers but are now major towns with developed social and economic infrastructure for example Vanderkloof, Gariep, Torquay, Buchuburg, and many others.

The project promoted international relations between the Republic of South Africa and other countries in which it undertook the project that is Lesotho and Namibia and also other countries that sponsored
the project that is the UK and USA. This led to increased trade ties as well as economic growth and development.



  • Rivers are the source of water for domestic, industrial, and recreational purposes. For instance, Mbarara town gets water for domestic use from River Rwizi, and Nile breweries use water from River Nile as raw material in making beer hence the provision of jobs to Ugandans and government revenue.
  • The water from rivers like Mubuku and Manafa is used to facilitate irrigation at the Mubuku irrigation scheme in Kasese and Doho in eastern Uganda respectively. Such schemes have increased on food production and foreign exchange after rice and vegetable exports.
  • Rivers facilitate the generation of Hydro Electric Power like Owen falls dam and Bujagali dams on River Nile, Mubuku power station on River Mubuku, etc. Hydro Electric Power has lead to industrial development thus infrastructure development and jobs to Ugandans.

  • Rivers provide cheap water transport by ferry means like on lake Victoria. This has developed local trade, provided incomes to transporters hence improved living standards.
  • The papyrus swamps which develop along river banks such as on River Katonga and Mpologoma are potential raw materials for paper, packing, cardboard, roofing materials, and the general development of the craft industry thus employment to Ugandans.
  • Rivers are tourist attractions especially the waterfalls of Murchison, Bajagali, Sipi, and Karuma falls. The meandering nature of River Rwizi attracts tourists for foreign exchange in terms of invisible export which is used for further development.
  • Rivers like the Nile provide fishing grounds and fish caught for local consumption and for sale. The swampy areas along River Katonga provide mudfish, which provide proteins and are sold for better incomes to Ugandans.
  • The swampy areas and wetlands along river channels are natural habitats for wild animals, birds, and other marine life. Shoe bills and crested cranes survive in River Nile wetlands attracting tourists for foreign exchange.
  • There is clay mining along rivers like Katonga and Mpologoma for bricklaying thus the development of small-scale industries for jobs to Ugandans.

  • Rivers like the Nakivubo channel help to regulate the environmental impurities that would directly enter Lake Victoria leading to its pollution. Also, rivers modify the climate where they exist like river Manafa form reliable rainfall which supports rice and other crop growing in eastern Uganda.
  • River banks like Albert Nile have got fertile soils in West Nile areas supporting tobacco and other crop growing. This also has attracted settlement in the areas of Nebbi, Arua, etc. the grown crops have contributed foreign exchange to Uganda through exportation.



Tennessee river valley is found in the U.S.A and is a tributary of the Ohio river, the government of the U.S.A organized the development of the valley with the general aim of solving the economic difficulties of the people.

The major aims OF the Tennessee River Valley Authority included the following:

  • To control soil erosion.
  • To control flow of rivers so as to reduce flooding.
  • To generate HEP
  • To create viable infrastructures so as to generate or stimulate economic activities in the area.

  • To generally foster or encourage economic growth and development in the area which was under developed compared to other parts of USA



In this article, we will discuss the challenges that the Rufiji River Basin development in Tanzania is currently grappling with. The Rufiji River Basin plays a crucial role in the country’s economic and ecological well-being, but it is confronted with various difficulties that hinder its sustainable development. These issues include concerns about water scarcity, environmental degradation, habitat loss, and the need to balance agricultural expansion with conservation efforts. By examining these problems, we aim to shed light on the complex task of managing and developing the Rufiji River Basin in a way that benefits both people and nature.


Poor Labour Supply due to Rural-Urban Migration:

Rural-urban migration refers to the movement of people from rural areas to urban centers in search of better economic opportunities and improved living conditions. This phenomenon can lead to a shortage of labor in the rural areas, including the Rufiji River basin. As young individuals migrate to cities for education and work, the available workforce in the agricultural sector diminishes. This can result in a lack of manpower for various developmental activities, such as farming, irrigation, and infrastructure projects. The dwindling labor force can impede the efficient implementation and maintenance of development schemes, hindering the overall progress of the basin.

Impact of Diseases on Farmer Participation:

The presence of diseases like Cholera and malaria can significantly affect farmers’ ability to actively contribute to the development of the Rufiji River basin. These diseases can cause serious health issues, leading to reduced productivity and absenteeism among farmers. The physical and economic toll of these diseases can render farmers unable to engage fully in farming and related activities. As a consequence, the agricultural output of the region may decline, negatively impacting both the livelihoods of the farmers and the broader development goals of the basin.

Climate Problems Affecting Water Availability:

Climate problems, particularly drought, have a substantial impact on water availability within the Rufiji River basin. Drought can lead to a decrease in the volume of water in the river, affecting irrigation, domestic water supply, and energy generation. Reduced water availability can hinder agricultural production, disrupt daily life, and potentially lead to conflicts over water resources. The unpredictability of climate patterns further complicates water management strategies, necessitating adaptive measures to address the fluctuations in water availability.

Transportation Challenges and Accessibility Issues:

The inadequate construction of roads and bridges presents significant transport challenges in the Rufiji River basin. During the wet season, the area becomes inaccessible due to poor road conditions and the lack of reliable bridges. This isolation can hinder the movement of goods, services, and people, impacting trade, healthcare access, and overall socio-economic development. The lack of proper transportation infrastructure not only limits local economic opportunities but also obstructs the effective delivery of resources and services.

High Expenses and Limited Government Capital:

The development of the Rufiji River basin requires substantial financial investment. High capital expenses are necessary for infrastructure development, irrigation systems, and other projects. However, the government’s limited capital resources can pose a significant barrier to the timely and comprehensive implementation of these projects. The need for external funding sources or partnerships can lead to delays and compromises in the scope and quality of the development initiatives.

Lack of Technology Knowledge and Skills:

Local communities within the Rufiji River basin may face challenges due to a lack of technological knowledge and skills. Low levels of technological literacy can hinder the adoption of modern agricultural practices, water management techniques, and other advancements. Intensive training and capacity-building programs are necessary to empower local residents with the necessary skills to effectively participate in the development initiatives. Bridging this knowledge gap is crucial for ensuring the sustainable and successful implementation of various projects within the basin.

Delayed Research and Preliminary Planning:

Extended timelines for research and preliminary planning can have cascading effects on smaller projects within the Rufiji River basin. When the government focuses extensively on larger projects, the attention and resources allocated to smaller endeavors diminish. This can lead to a decline in the progress of smaller initiatives and overall development stagnation. Delays in research and planning can also contribute to uncertainties among stakeholders and reduce the efficiency of resource allocation, potentially hindering the basin’s holistic development.


Problems Facing the Tana River Projects

The following Problems Facing the Tana River Projects

  • Shortage of capital to purchase spare parts has interfered with the maintenance of machinery in the powerhouse.
  • Fluctuation of the water levels of R. Tana because of drought in the catchment areas and evaporation because of flowing through the dry Nyika region which affects power generation.
The following Problems Facing the Tana River Projects
Shortage of capital to purchase spare parts has interfered with the maintenance of machinery in the powerhouse.
Fluctuation of the water levels of R. Tana because of drought in the catchment areas and evaporation because of flowing through the dry Nyika region which affects power generation.
  • Siltation of dams which occasionally blocks the tailrace tunnels leading to a low
    the volume of water and dredging is required which is expensive.
  • Inadequate skills and technology causes failure to maximize on power

Benefits of Tana River Projects

  1. The reservoirs provide power for irrigation and domestic use.
  2. The dams promote transport by serving as bridges across the rivers.
  3. The dams are a tourist attraction e.g. Masinga tourist lodge provides recreational facilities.
  4. The dams provide fresh water fisheries.
  5. The projects have generated employment to people thus raising their standard of living.


The Rhine waterway is Europe’s most important waterway being the principal north-south waterway for Basel in Switzerland through the central Heroynian highlands to the Netherlands forming the eastern border of France.

The river is linked to the Rhone river and the Mediterranian by the Rhone-Rhine canal.

it is joined by many tributaries some of which include Moselle which are canalized.

The river has been dredged, straightened, and improved.

The following are importance of river Rhine waterways:

  • It facilitates the development of various industries particularly in the Ruhr industrial complex due to presence of cheap water transport used for both importation of raw materials and exportation of manufactured commodities as well as acting as a source of large quantities of water for cooling purpose. Such industries include iron and steel, engineering, motor vehicle, chemicals and textiles.
  • It has led to provision of employment opportunities in the industries, mining as captains of ship from which income is earned leading to better standards of living.

  • The waterway has promoted power generation such as hydroelectric power from the dams and the use of coal and the exploitation of oil for mining industries. This is because it offered cheap means of transporting the bulky heavy minerals. This further led to the development of industries in the region.
  • It has acted as the source of water for industrial and domestic use. The industrial that require large water supply such as soft drink industries, textile and smelting as well as for cooling machines.

  • The waterways have opened the landlocked states connecting them to the sea such as Germany and Switzerland, as such they have been able to increase their trade both import and exports as well as receiving raw materials.
  • It has led to the growth of international relationship among countries since it also serves as a natural boundary of Switzerland and Germany. it has thus helped to create political togetherness and increasing international trade.

  • It has promoted the development of other mode of transport especially railway, roads and canals. These connect other areas to the waterway bringing in various goods hence promoting trade. These include the Rhine-herne canal, Dortmund-Ems canal and the lippesite canal.
  • the waterway is also a source of revenue to the various countries, that is to say German, France, Switzerland and Netherlands. The revenue is obtained from levying taxes on the industries, miners, agriculture, from the transport sector which is used to develop other sectors of the economy.

  • It has encouraged the settlement along the Rhine valley. This is because of the growth and development of several industries and agriculture especially vine grown in the Rhine rift valley which attracted people for jobs. Besides, it offers cheap means of transport allowing easy mobility of people.
  • The waterway has led to development of tourism by offering a scenic beauty as well as being used as mode of transport for the tourists. it has therefore offered others source of foreign exchange.

  • it provides one of the world’s most efficient waterway system serving western and southern Germany, Switzerland, and eastern France  to the Netherlands. it carries both imports such as crude oil, cotton, wool, iron ore, coal, wheat, meat and dairy products and exports such as chemicals, fertilizers, textiles, machinery, watches, automobiles and confectionaries.
  • It has encouraged regional trade through reduced transport cost as compared to road and railway transport because of reduction in distance. This has promoted imports and exports of heavy and bulky commodities such as coal, iron ore and petroleum.

  • It has facilitated the exploitation of minerals such as coal in the Ruhr region, oil, sand and iron ore from Lorraine via the Mossel thus leading to the development of the mining industry as well as industrialization.
  • the waterway has stimulated the growth of ports and town such as Basel, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam, Mainz, Bern with associated infrastructure such as roads leading to further development. Rotterdam for example is one of the busiest port in the world.

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