Illegal alluvial gold mining and environmental degradation in steep slopes and on river banks in the East Usambara Mountains, are destroying water sources for over 300 000 Tanga city residents.
The Tanga Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (Tanga Uwasa) says it loses a total of Sh15.2 million (US$ 6 800) every day in revenue collection and increased costs of water treatment as a result of a serious increase in turbidity in the Mabayani Dam, the major source of water that feeds Tanga City.
The Tanga Uwasa Managing Director, Joshua Mgeyekwa said here that mud flowing from Muzi River which feeds into Zigi River that, in turn, flows into Mabayani Dam has increased turbidity of the water from the normal 100 NTU (mud level units) to 600 NTU.
“We have been forced to cut water production because the kind of chemicals we use for treatment of water cannot clean a large amount of water at one time,” Mgeyekwa said.
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