Rufiji Basin Water Board (RBWB) has halted issuing 125 new permits on the Rufiji River to implement President Samia Suluhu Hassan directives to have sufficient water to fill the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) dam.
President Samia issues the directives in December last year, wanting the board to be at the forefront of protecting water sources to ensure that large and small rivers flow enough water to enter the dam.
The RBWB Head of the Water Resources Allocation Section, Mr Gallus Ndunguru said
they will not issue new permits until the JNHPP project is completed or until further notice.
Earlier speaking to journalists yesterday who visited the board in Iringa Region, the RBWB Director Mr Florence Mahay said they have already started implementing the President’s order by suspending the issuance of new permits for large projects.
“The Board, through its January meeting this year, suspended the issuance of new permits until the JNHPP water filling project is completed,” said Mr Mahay
He noted that when they are filling out, they will be getting new information and getting certainty that will enable them to make other decisions, especially in terms of issuing permits when the JNHPP is completed.
Meanwhile, he said the board has a big role to play in filling water in the JNHPP and said the increased use of water from the small rivers reduces the ability of the river to flow water to JNHPP, so they emphasised on the legal procedure of requesting permits to be used.
JNHPP has reached 135 meters from the sea level from 74.4 meters when the dam started to be filled on December 22, 2022.
According to the report of 4th March this year, the JNHPP report showed that the volume has reached 135.15 above sea level compared to the level of 74.84 when the dam was inaugurated by President Samia on 22nd December last year.
Mr Mahay said that within 72 days the dam has been able to increase to 60.31 above sea level.
“ The JNHPP needed 34bn cubic metre to be full and currently the dam has a volume of 2.1 billion cubic metre,” said Mahay