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Dodoma city, central Tanzania, seats in a semi-arid region of East Africa with limited rains and surface water resources. Consequently, the area largely depends on shallow and deep aquifers for its freshwater needs. Owing to harsh climatic conditions, chronic lack of year-round surface water bodies and, limited development of water distribution infrastructures, over year’s local people have nurtured, developed and, passed on important indigenous knowledge (IK) on exploiting and managing shallow aquifers (SAs). However, there is no clear documented administrative plans for the SAs and the roles of IK, which is widely practised in developing SDWs and managing SAs, are not properly documented. This study intended to assess the extent of shallow dug wells (SDWs) utilization and contribution of IK on management of SAs of indigenous people of Dodoma Municipality. The methods followed include critical field observations, measurements and, focus group discussions done during both the dry season (Sep.–Oct. 2013) and wet season (Dec. 2013–Feb. 2014). The results show that SDWs occur widely in the city, particularly in the suburbs, where they often serve as the only sources of freshwater and heavily dependent by the populace. It is clear that there is rich IK on management of SAs including on groundwater exploration, digging, water allocation, pricing, and even on water quality and, water treatment skills. The aforementioned IK clearly contribute to water sufficiency to the populace and general management of groundwater such as enhancing recharge mechanisms where about 1% of local rainfall is recharged through a network of SDWs compared to ~ 5–10% that is natu- rally being recharged by rainfall through the vadose zone. Thus, as much as the current policy framework and groundwater managers do not recognize the roles of IK and contributions of SDWs as key water sources, it is clear that IK contributes to the groundwater management and SDWs already support large part of the society. While it is globally appreciated that vital skills on SDWs management are vanishing, local people in Dodoma still retain them and should, therefore, be preserved. It is further recommended that IK are strengthened, improved and most importantly, incorporated in the local water resources management plans that already advocate on integrated approaches but which clearly ignores the IK and the local people’s efforts to explore and manage water resource, particularly SAs. Keywords Shallow aquifers · Indigenous knowledge · Management · Dodoma Background information * C. Shemsanga Introduction firstname.lastname@example.org Owing to the lack of year-round surface water bodies, low Department of Water and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Nelson Mandela African Institution rains, and poor quality of the available surface water bodies, of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania in Dodoma city, reliability of fresh water supplies for various Department of Geography and Planning, University uses has largely been met by groundwater (Salama 1979; of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada Rwebugisa 2008). In recent years, however, per capita fresh- Department of Environmental Engineering and Management, water availability has further been reduced by population School of Environmental Sciences and Technology, increases and ongoing impacts of climate change (Kashaigili University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania 2010; Rwebugisa 2008). Yet, the negative climate change Water Resources Division, Ministry of Water, Dodoma, impacts on surface water resources and increasing pressure Tanzania Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 59 Page 2 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 on groundwater for agriculture, construction and, domestic guidelines and collection of the fees (Baumann et al. 2005). use will likely exacerbate the problem of freshwater supply This remains the case while locals have plenty of skills on further (Shemsanga et al. 2016). many of these aforelisted challenges, yet the current water Generally, groundwater is considered less sensitive to management strategy does not recognize/include them. short-term climate variability and even pollution sources Moreover, over generations harsh climatic conditions (Chen et al. 2004). According to Wurzel (2001), ground- coupled with poor water quality and/or lack of surface water water is protected from evaporation and, in many regions; bodies and chronic water shortage have led to nurturing and volumes stored underground are immense, providing water passing on of vital IK on development and general manage- security during drought periods/years. Yet, the capital cost ment of SDWs. For meaningful and sustainable groundwater of groundwater development is also relatively low. Thus, management, therefore, there is a need to integrate these the afforested traits qualify groundwater as a major adapta- rich IK on management of the local water resources’ gov- tion option to the negative impacts of climate change on ernance. However, no proper documentation of IK exists water supplies (Chen et al. 2004). Local people in Dodoma locally and little is known on its roles in management of city have capitalized on these key groundwater traits from water resources. Nonetheless, water management must focus which they have survived ages of chronic water shortages via on total water resource; surface and underground, in various inherent indigenous knowledge (IK) associated with shallow states and places, and the people who live with, impact, use aquifers (SAs) exploration, development and management. and, manage it. This should consider everybody and every However, groundwater dynamics in Dodoma are not fully process that affects its quality and quantity or that is affected understood which undermines efforts for sustainable man - by various water projects. Specifically, it must include IK as agement of local and regional aquifers. Yet, management of local people have enormous skills from older generations groundwater is generally complex as is viewed and as such, that have enabled them to survive ages of water stress. treated as a common pool resource (Troch 2000; Zealand However, it should be known that water shortage is a 2011), including within the study area (Kashaigili 2010). problem in the wider developing world particularly in semi- Poor understanding of groundwater is even more serious arid regions where more than 1.1 billion people do not have with shallow aquifers that are currently not of interest to reliable access to water for drinking (Nkonya 2011). Meet- local researchers, policy makers and, water resource man- ing regional water needs will thus depend on how water agers (personal communication with Mr. Mihale, Wami- resources are understood, developed and most importantly, Ruvu Basin, WRB). This remains the case when as much as managed (MacDonald et al. 2009, 2010). By 2005, it was 20–30% of Dodoma region is regarded suitable for shallow reported that to meet Millennium Development Goals dug wells (SDWs) development (Baumann et al. 2005) and (MDG) on water, Tanzania needed to drill 14 000 SDWs and where SDWs occur widely in the region. Likewise, local 1 500 boreholes per year (Baumann et al. 2005). For such a SDWs are not properly documented making it difficult to task to be sustainable, an understanding of available water estimate their contributions in the local water sufficiency and resources, functional allocation systems and cautious bal- balance as is the case for the role of IK associated with their ancing of surface and groundwater abstractions are required development and utilization. However, deep aquifers par- (Taylor et al. 2012; Shemsanga et al. 2017). Many of these ticularly at Makutupora well field (MWF), the main source aforelisted aspects are already practised by the local people of water supply of the city, remains strongly interlinked with in Dodoma city but lack proper documentation, coordination shallow aquifers (Shindo 1990) hence poor management of and policing. local SDWs may affect deep wells alike. A SDW in this con- Groundwater exploration is usually carried out using text mean a well that is ≤ 15 m deep (De Louw et al. 2013). lengthy and expensive methods namely geospatial tech- These, are often easy to dig and the wells themselves act as niques (Hammouri et al. 2012; Manap et al. 2014) and geo- own reservoirs hence making storage tanks unneeded (Tay- physical techniques (Muchingami et al. 2012), among many lor et al. 2009; Job 2010) and in many areas there are local others. For a long time, however, local people in Dodoma skills to develop and manage them (Wurzel 2001; Pritchard city have successfully explored for groundwater using tradi- et al. 2008; Hardjoamidjojo et al 2007). tional and locally available means and tools. These, however, The national water management plan advocates on holis- are also not well documented, coordinated and, recognised tic approaches such as integrated water resource manage- by existing water development and management framework ment (IWRM), creation of water user associations and, which undermines local efforts for water sufficiency to all. issuing of water development and use permits. However, Classifying water quality is vital for overall water man- local water management is often marred by conflicting inter - agement and allocation plans (Mjemah et al. 2009, 2011). ests and issuing of the permits and paying of needed fees Conventionally, water quality assessment is often done by is nationally unrealistic due to the presence of numerous lengthy and costly process of laboratory analysis of a series unknown abstractions and incapacity to implement existing of water quality parameters. However, locals have developed 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Page 3 of 20 59 simple means of water quality assessment including iden- IK structure on management of SAs works. The study also tification of catchment areas with saline and hard ground- aimed at providing initial quantification of SDWs density water. Besides, IK on allocating groundwater for different and the corresponding recharge fluxes in Dodoma Munici- uses based on qualitative parameters exists but not properly pality. It is hoped that the local IK perspectives coupled documented and formally recognised. Yet, these skills have with on-going scientific effort to manage water resources enabled local people to designate water sources according will lead to better understanding, henceforth management to their quality and it can only be meaningful if such efforts of surface and groundwater resources. will be studied, improved and, if necessary included in the ongoing water management efforts. Case study description Despite the high rate of SDWs development and utili- zation and the rich indigenous knowledge base on SGs This study was carried out within the Dodoma municipal- management in Dodoma Municipality, these remain undoc- ity that is located between UTM zone 36, UTM 750,000 E umented and effectively excluded in the formal water gov - through 945,000 E and 9,280,000 N through 9,380,000 N ernance strategies and framework. This remains the case (UTM, Arc 1960) (Fig. 1). Meteorologically, the area is in a long after the UN recognized robust roles of IK as its 3rd semi-arid region of Tanzania with low (550 mm/year) uni- priority in the Hyogo Framework for Action (ISDR 2012). modal rains falling between October and May. Temperatures Thus, this study intended to assess contributions of the are lowest in July (about 13.0 °C) and highest in November local people in Dodoma Municipality and how the entire (about 30.6 °C). The semi-aridity nature of the area can be Fig. 1 Major SDWs uses, designs, types of water abstractions in tems used for water abstraction. a Shows the traditional bucket and Dodoma Municipality. a A pastoralist abstracting water for his live- rope water abstraction system that has the potential to contaminate stock, and lack of proper SDWs completion practices making them the aquifer. d Wells’ completion and water pumping system where a susceptible to surface runoff which can easily contaminate the wells b SDWs is fixed with a peddle pump and carefully protected by locally shows a farmer irrigating a garden at Nzuguni using his own SDWs. available materials which reduces chances of aquifers’ contamination a, c, d shows various types of traditional SDWs and pumping sys- 1 3 59 Page 4 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 appreciated from very high evapotranspiration (ET) rates In all areas, wells’ owners, village leaders and elders helped averaging at 2000 mm/year (Rwebugisa 2008), this rate is the research team to identify SDWs in their localities and about 4 times the annual rainfall (Shindo 1991). Hydrologi- designated their uses, management strategies and whether cally, the area is notable for a series of seasonal rivers and they were perennial or ephemeral. Although the SDWs were lack of permanent surface water bodies, except for the saline dug with the purpose of providing water, it was clear that Hombolo Dam (Fig. 1; Shemsanga et al. 2017). The local they also work as potential recharge avenues to the SAs river network is largely seasonal, flowing only during the which was calculated from the following two methods; rainy season and a few weeks thereafter hence the area is heavily reliant on groundwater. Geologically, it lies in the (a) Recharge based on vertical flux from precipitation on fractured and sheared, crystalline basement of Dodoma cra- existing SDWs’ surface areas ton composed of granite, granulites and, migmatite intruded Recharge from a single SDW = SDW exposed area by dolerite/diorite and pegmatite dykes. There is also a nar- × average annual rainfall. row belt of metasedimentary rocks (Hombolo-Meia Meia) (1) composed of ferruginous quartzites, ironstones, micaceous (b) Recharge from rainfall and water infiltrating into the quartzites, quartz feldspathic schists (Shindo 1991; Nkotagu SDWS due to changes in pressure created by opening 1996a). The area has a moderate population growth rate of the SDWs according to Sunderrajan et al. (2009). (3.3%) and it is projected that by 2025 the total population will be 689,072 compared to 324,437 in 2002 (URT 2003). Recharge per Unit area = Recharge from a single SWD (2) Projections show that by 2025, 94,218 m /day of water will × SDWs denisty. be required compared to about 38,006 m /day of 2002 (URT 2003) which represents a real challenge. SDW density = Number of SDWs∕total area (3) Average SDW volume (recharge volume from a single well) Methods = × d. This study was triggered by a high level of IK on various 4 (4) aspects of management of SAs and development and utiliza- Major assumption tion of SDWs that were observed within the study area. The methods followed include analysis of climate data, focus All SDWs are full once a year from precipitation and water group discussions (FGDs), extended FOs of SAs manage- infiltrating into the SDWs due to changes in pressure created ment strategies and measurements on SDWs design dimen- by the vacuum caused by opening up of the wells and that sions and yield. Physical water quality parameters were the entire volumes of the wells will recharge the shallow measured in situ using a field multi-parameters testing kit aquifers. Due to data availability constraints, only Mtumba (portable Scichem STC multi-parameters tester). Focus and Ihumwa suburbs were chosen in the estimation magni- group discussions with the local people were held around tudes of recharge contribution from SDWS. Where D = aver- SDWs as/when they were going about their daily activities age SDWs diameter, d = average SDWs depth. This study viz fetching water, gardening and, trailing livestock to drink was guided by the following research questions from which water from the wells. This gave an unbiased opportunity to FGDs, field work and, data collection were planned; observe how the entire system of local groundwater develop- ment and management works. Despite immense skills on the (a) How do the local people in Dodoma explore for the best management of SDWs, several skilful people in management sites/locations to dig SDWs? of SDWs namely the elders and traditional leaders; could (b) How are the SDWs developed by the local people in not communicate in Swahili and/or English but local Gogo Dodoma? language. When the use of Gogo was necessary, the field (c) How are SDWs and surrounding recharge areas (catch- technician (Mr. Malima) provided translations. Focus group ment) managed? discussions and FOs were done for the period of five (5) (d) How is the water allocated and shared amongst different months covering both dry (Sep–Oct 2013) and wet seasons sectors, users and, uses? (Dec 2013–Feb 2014). The various accounts and findings (e) What proportion of the local people are directly uncovered in the field were discussed with officials charged dependent on the SDWs? with management of water resources at WRB, Dodoma (f) What is the local knowledge base on water quality office. issues and water treatment methods? Meteorological data of rainfall and temperature were col- (g) How do the SDWs development contribute to water lected from Makutupora (1921–2014), Dodoma (1980–2014) management like enhancing recharge? and Hombolo agro-vet (1980–2014) meteorological stations. 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Page 5 of 20 59 Results Estimation of recharge from shallow dug wells (SDWs) Shallow dug wells’ density and uses Method 1 Table 1, summarises the number of local SDWs and whether Direct recharge from vertical precipitation flux on SDWS they are perennial or ephemeral. The results show that there were over 1248 SDWs of both rectangular and round surfaces Recharge from all SDWs surfaces = 2.5 × 3 × types (Table 1, Fig. 1). Proportionally, 35, 19, 38 and, 8% of all wells were used for irrigation, domestic, mixed uses 579/1000 = 4.3425 m . Considering all study SDWs (1248), this gives a total of 5,419.44 m . and livestock, respectively. In addition, most wells (93%) are privately owned while 7% were communal wells. The Method 2 SDWs are more common in the suburbs and un-surveyed- low income areas (Table 1). For instance, 336 wells occur Recharge from vertical precipitation flux on SDW surfaces in Mtumba which is one of heavily populated area with no piped water connections. Within the suburbs, nearly 76% of and water infiltrating into the SDWs according to Sunder - rajan et al. (2009). Working with average SDWs dimensions the population totally depend on SDWs compared to only 8% of the urban population (Table 1). Furthermore, occurrence and applying Eqs. (1–3), net recharge per unit areas was estimate as portrayed hereunder (Fig. 2). of SDWs within the municipality is mostly in un-surveyed urban settlements of Nkuhungu, Nzuguni, Ntyuka, Ndachi, By applying the following values into Eqs. (2) through (4), recharge amounts were calculated as follows, Mbwanga and, Mbuyuni where no water infrastructures and connections exist. Generally, within the suburbs, dominance D = Average diameter of SDWs (2.5 m) d = Average depth of SDWs (15 m) of SDWs numbers follow the following order Hombolo Makulu, Mahoma Nyika, Mtumba, Ihumwa, Nzuguni and, Area (Mtumba and Ihumwa) = 8,000,000 m Number of SDWs = 548, Π = 3.1416 Vyeyula, respectively. Notice the proportionally large num- −5 2 ber of SDWs density in the suburbs (96.71%) compared to SDWs density = 6.85 × 10 wells/m Average SDWs recharge volume = 73.66 m the city centre (3.29%) (Table 1). −3 Recharge per unit area = 5.04571 × 10 m (5.046 mm). Recharge from a single SDW = 2.5 × 579/1000 (= 1.4475) Total recharge from all SDWs = 1.4475 m × 1248 = 1806.48 m Table 1 SDWs distribution and Sub-catchment Status Town planning status No. of wells No. of people Perennial wells Ephem- characteristics based on FOs, eral wells FGDs and, URT (2013, 2014) Hombolo Mixed Un-surveyed 73 16,147 58 15 Hombolo Makulu Rural Mostly un-surveyed 34 6309 28 6 Makutupora Mixed Mostly un-surveyed 12 14,430 5 7 Iyumbu Rural Un-surveyed 31 5567 29 2 Nala Mixed Un-surveyed 13 5567 9 4 Zuzu Rural Un-surveyed 25 6485 19 6 Miyuji Mixed Mostly un-surveyed 8 14,965 8 0 Mkonze Rural Un-surveyed 11 12,515 8 3 Msalato Mixed Mostly un-surveyed 14 6718 11 3 Ntyuka Mixed Mostly un-surveyed 39 4558 33 6 Dodoma urban Urban Mostly Surveyed 41 44,050 27 14 Ihumwa Mixed Mostly un-surveyed 212 10,577 187 25 Mtumba Mixed Mostly un-surveyed 336 6691 298 38 Mahoma Nyika Rural Un-surveyed 64 3023 23 41 Mahoma Makulu Rural Un-surveyed 263 4365 176 87 Nzuguni Mixed Mostly un-surveyed 72 15,466 59 13 Total 1248 177,433 978 270 1 3 59 Page 6 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Kitelela, Nzasa, Gawaye and, Mtumba suburbs of the munic- ipality (Fig. 3). According to the locals in the aforelisted areas, the presence of termites’ mounds is a direct indication of close WT as termites live closest to where they get water, especially during dry months. According to mama Pendo of Mtumba suburb; termites build mounds where there is shal- low WT and, therefore, chances of finding shallow ground- water are higher on and/or close to the termites’ mounds. “If you dig a well on a termite mound you are likely to get more water and at a much closer depth (WT). ‘Most productive wells here in the village are dug on termite mounds and who- ever SDWs away from the mounds ended up with dry wells or one with very little water and at much deeper depths’’ (personal communication with Mr. Jackson in Mtumba). Digging SDWs along faults and where older generations Fig. 2 Schematic representation of shallow aquifer recharge mecha- placed their wells nism from SDWs Albeit locals would not call it a ‘fault’, the current field sur - Indigenous knowledge on exploration, digging vey recorded many SDWs along clearly pronounced geologi- cal fault systems (Fig. 4). and management of SDWs According to the locals it is easy to dig wells where you already have ‘natural caves on the rocks along a line’ Following chronic shortage of water and harsh climatic conditions in Dodoma, local people have effectively ‘‘faults’’, as the rocks would easily break along the natural fractures. The results show that several SDWs were found learned key lessons and applied their IK in locating prime areas for SDWs development. Among the most widely to be along continuous fault lines and were relatively more productive than wells away from the faults. As a results, used indigenous groundwater exploration methods include; many wells were developed in the faults to account for their relative high yield and the easiness to dig them. Most of The use of termites’ mounds as indicator for groundwater/ high moisture such wells in Mtumba and Kisasa were almost continuously pumped and did not show any signs of decreasing yields. The use of termites’ mounds was one of the key IK ground- Interestingly, dowsing rods positively responded on top of fault wells to show presence of water in Mtumba, (Fig. 5). water exploration methods in Ntyuka, Ihumwa, Nzuguni, Fig. 3 Showing a 103 m deep BH drilled close to a slightly weathered termite’s mound, at Nzuguni, suburb. Notice that the BH is ~ 1.5 m from the mound 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Page 7 of 20 59 Fig. 4 Showing SDWs placed along natural fault systems. a Dowsing vulnerable to pollution from runoff and periodical removal of debris rods crossing on top of a SDW dug along a fault in Mahoma Makulu. is necessary. The SDWs in Mtumba are among the most productive b A very productive SDW along a fault system that is used for in the area with an average yield of about 17 m /h (Shemsanga et al. domestic and irrigation at Mtumba suburb. However, both wells are 2017) (IK perfectly support simple modern groundwater explora- The use of vegetation as indicators for SGs (presence tion techniques). of moisture) Likewise, the results revealed that most wells, particularly those along faults occur where older generations placed their The results further indicate that locals have a clear under- wells. “These wells have been here for many generations standing of the relationship between presence of water and and we have only been doing minor maintenances such as health of vegetation and would accordingly, dig their SDWs removal of debris and weeding them”, says Mama Adam in such areas where the vegetation generally stayed greener of Mtumba suburb. She adds, ‘If we are to dig new wells, and healthier than average. Thus, apart from digging SDWs we often dig them where the inherited wells are located. during the peak of the dry season, when areas with healthier/ By so doing, we are connected to our ancestors and often greener vegetation can only be because there is a source get water’’. Thus, local people have received/preserved of water, locals also dig wells in areas where on average knowledge from older generations about areas that were the vegetation remained greener for a longer period of time drilled many years ago. Focus group discussions in Mahoma hence more likelihood of finding water. The greener the Makulu revealed that locals mostly developed SDWs in the vegetation during the peak of a dry season the more the same localities as their older generations even if such loca- likelihood of finding groundwater (personal communication tions do not have faults. Thus, the use of faults, valley bot- with Mr. Mabuya, a resident of Mtumba suburb). Likewise, toms and/or vegetation to indicate soil moisture seem to have FGDs with the local people indicated that certain trees spe- been passed on from older generations and have successively cies, mostly Ficus sycomorus, Acacia albida and, Adanso- helped the local people to be water sufficient (Personal com- nia digitata have the potential of inferring areas with high munication with Mr. Mazengo, of Mtumba). soil moisture contents. Such skills were mostly reported in 1 3 59 Page 8 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Fig. 5 Dowsing rods crossing on top of termite’s mounds in Mtumba suburb indicating a closer water table, locals have trapped this technology to successfully explore and dig deeper SDWs Mahoma Makulu, Gawaye, Msisi and, Mkondai suburbs. certain flowering plants in the wetlands would start to bloom Indeed, several SDWs were placed along these trees and when the rains were approaching. In addition, they add that local people preserve the trees believing that they are them- many other vegetation would look greener and start to pro- selves the sources of water (FGDS, FOs). duce new leaves and flowers just before the rains. These According to Mama Mahila and Mr. Mzanje, both resi- methods are widely applied in Dodoma and have helped dents of Mahoma Nyika, the moisture indicative species locals to survive ages of water stress and food insecurity have widely been used to clue presence of water especially if through well informed timing of timing of farming activi- investigations are done at the peak of the dry season. Elders ties (FGDs). in Mahoma Nyika and Mahoma Makulu, strongly linked the health of such vegetation at the peak of the dry season with higher proportions of soil moisture, which is strongly Geomorphology and river courses prospecting related to presence of a shallow WT. “Knowledgeable people for likelihood of SGs within my village and even where i originate from explore for SDWs during the peak of the dry season and they would Locals were also found to have some basic knowledge on the mostly dig SDWS where grasses and trees are greener at relationship between the likelihood of groundwater occur- that season” says Mama Sechelela, a resident of Mahoma rence and geomorphological settings. Focus group discus- Makulu suburb. sions with locals in Ihumwa, Chololo and, Nzasa suburbs Further, elders would observe certain cloud patterns, indicated the best localities to explore for water were on the increased temperature and humidity as indicators of valley bottoms where runoff often accumulates longer than approaching rain events. For instance, by looking at certain the average areas and hence recharge the shallow aquifers. flowering plants and trees and by sensing increased atmos- According to Mr. Mazengo of Chololo village, “it is not pheric humidity and temperature, older people in Mtumba, possible to get water on high raising landscapes as water Nzuguni, Hombolo, Mahoma Nyika, Msalato, Veyula and, flows towards the valleys”. Furthermore, villagers suggest Zuzu, could forecast when the rains were approaching and that areas where two or more rivers/streams intersect/meet accordingly prepare crop fields. This was observed at dif- have high potential for SDWs development. ferent times while the researcher was in the field where the According to the locals, moisture will accumulate in those elders would tell him that rainfall would pour soon, and it areas for longer times and hence the corresponding SDWs did. Moreover, elders often observe A. digitata and other are likely to last for longer periods during dry months. The plants in their communities such that when they put back fact that two water courses meet makes soil moisture stay their leaves after shedding them during dry season, it was an for a longer time than the surrounding areas hence extended indication that the rain season was approaching. Similarly, 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Page 9 of 20 59 time for the water to infiltrate and recharge the aquifers (says Further the survey revealed that, locals are already aware Mr. Mazengo, Ihumwa). of potential health concerns from consuming poor quality Locals have capitalized on this hydrological fact and in water and some are already involved in disinfecting water many cases their wells were dug where river channels inter- for drinking by boiling, and/or sun sterilization in plastic sect. This was the case in Chololo, Mtumba and, Ihumwa bottles put on top of their premises roofs. For instance, suburbs where some wells were placed on and/or very close in Mtumba suburb, isolated cases of disinfecting drink- to seasonal river channels. The survey showed a series of ing water by putting water in plastic bottles and exposing such wells along water courses. Thus, locals have developed them to solar illumination from roof tops were observed. good skills in locating water along these water courses and Similarly, many families in Nzuguni, Mtumba and, Ihumwa FGDs showed that they prefer to dig wells in the aforemen- reported that they were boiling their water to kill pathogens. tioned areas as they are most likely to get water for a longer Others bought special chemicals to put into their water for period of time when other areas will have dried out. drinking to kill pathogens (FGDs). Indigenous knowledge on water quality, hardness Important IK on SDWs management practices: and, seasonal water salinity prevention of erosion, encouraging recharge, identification of and, protection of recharge sites Local people had a good understanding of the general water quality aspects, especially salinity, TH and seasonal varia- Generally, locals have some basic knowledge on identify- tions in water salt contents. Furthermore, the survey revealed ing recharge sites where among most frequently identi- that; locals had some IK on catchment areas with relatively fied areas were wetlands, flood plains along natural water good quality water and/or where the water was salty, “bit- courses. Focus group discussions showed that locals enhance ter” as they would put it. According to elders in Hombolo recharge by protecting these recharge areas against adverse for instance, wells developed on and/or close to a particular human activities such as farming and grazing. For instance, local valley, would most likely produce salty water and water locals in Mahoma Nyika and Hombolo Makulu identified which would not easily form foam with soap (FGDs). Apart their local wetlands as directly recharging their aquifers and from identifying salty wells and salty and/or hard water loca- were actively educating each other on the need of protecting tions, elders in Mtumba and Mahoma Nyika were able to such areas for sustained life of the SDWs. In addition, locals link concentration of water salinity with seasons. “During in Mtumba, Ntyuka and, Nzuguni could clearly link runoff the peak of the dry seasons, the water becomes bitter and channels and rivers as potential recharge sites for their areas. would progressively get better during rainy season, particu- Furthermore, locals could also link rainfall intensity, longev- larly during heavy rains years like 2007” (Personal com- ity and magnitude to groundwater recharge. For instance, munication with Mr. Mazengo of Mahoma Makulu suburb). residents of Mtumba linked years with poor rains with low Further, immediately after digging SDWs and before the water table and early drying up of the wells and accordingly water is consumed by humans, locals in Chinangali, Nzasa would know which years they were likely to suffer from and, Mpamaa suburbs would pour such water on the ground water shortage in their SDWs (drying SDWs). and let it dry out before it is categorised for use based on The study found that SDWs in Veyula, Mtumba, Ihumwa, its quality. According to the locals, unfit water for humans, Nzuguni and, Mahoma Nyika have some structures that pre- salty water and, water that would not easily form foam with vent them against siltation and drying up. For instance, cer- soap (hard water) would normally leave white-chalky marks/ tain portions of land around SDWs were left uncultivated coloration on the ground and the respective SDWs would be so as to reduce direct erosion and SDWs siltation. Moreo- designated as bad (having salt water) (FGDs and personal ver, some plants are intentionally left to grow around the communication with Mama Mohamed Omar Sefu, a resident wells, mostly Cyperus rotundus, Acacia spp., among other. of Chinangali). While it is not possible to tell compositions According to the locals, such vegetation generally stabilizes of salts by this local skill, it still offers a general understand- wells’ edges and prevent siltation and wells collapsing. In ing of water with high salty contents which could be harmful addition, in Mtumba and Mahoma Makulu areas, pierces of to humans, livestock and, crops. This survey revealed that land around the wells were left uncultivated to protect the the water from wells that locals designated them as unfit wells from drying up, erosion, siltation and, wells’ collaps- −1 had higher electrical conductivity (EC) of > 2500 μS cm ing. “The land around my SDWs is well-vegetated with trees following in situ testing. National and WHO water quality and grasses and no cultivation is performed on/near the wells standards both shows continuous consumption of water with so as to protect it from drying, siltation and erosion” (per- excessive salts and other chemical species is harmful (URT sonal communication with Mr. Jackson of Mtumba suburb). 2007; WHO 2008). 1 3 59 Page 10 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 for SDWs development in the area is a function of its static Water allocations, rationing and, separation of SDWs for various uses/users water level (SWL) of at least 8 m or less. This is the exact situation in most areas of the municipality (Shemsanga et al. Locally, some villages had a well communicated arrange- 2017). The study revealed that there are specific individuals from ment regarding where humans and animals get their water. In many surveyed areas, certain wells are set aside for human the villages who are knowledgeable and have physical capac- ity to dig the SDWs. Such an individual would be paid an and livestock uses. For instance, in Nzuguni, Mtumba, Ihumwa, Mahoma Nyika, Mahoma Makulu, Nzasa, Kitelela average of 150 000 TSH to dig a SDW that is about 15 m deep and having a surface dimension of 2 × 3 m. By the and, Mpamaa there were wells that humans collect domes- tic water and other wells are reserved for livestock. Local use of mostly traditional tools including a bucket and rope pulley system, such a well would be dug by an average of 3 communication with the elders in those villages revealed that such arrangements were there since time in memorial people for between 45 and 60 days. These findings closely agree with past studies in Tanzania which concluded that it and in many cases they inherited the wells for different uses from their older generations. According to the local people, requires 2–7 weeks to dig a typical SDW depending on soil/ rock conditions, width, depth (Baumann et al. 2005). sharing wells with livestock makes the water dirty and many times livestock destroy the wells hence forcing periodical Extreme cases were also observed where up to 45 m deep SDWs were dug in Mtumba suburb. Such wells were highly maintenance. In a similar way, wells used for irrigation are also different from those used for domestic purposes. ‘‘To productive some of which sustained water needs for up to 120 families/households. The latter wells were also reported satisfy a large herd of livestock, one would need to abstract water several times from the wells, potentially steering sedi- to offer reliable water supplies during dry season when aver - age/shallower wells will have reduced yields and/or dried ments during the process’’, says Mzee Moses of Ihumwa suburb. This observation is contrary to wells abstracted for out (FGDs). These findings support common science that SDWs dry faster than deeper wells (Baumann et al. 2005). domestic uses only which are generally less frequented and hence the water generally remains clean (ones with less tur- The findings show that SDWs are heavily utilised by the locals for nearly all water needs including cooking, laundry, bidity/suspended solids and matters). Likewise, wells used for irrigation are mostly different domestic wells which washing, making bricks, irrigation, livestock, construction, cleaning human and livestock houses and, mixing of chemi- are often found within farms and near neighbourhoods, respectively. cals against livestock and crop pests and diseases (FGDs). The current water supply infrastructures were first devel- oped by colonial government in 1911 and mostly focused where the elites lived (Salama 1979). Back then, the popu- Discussions lation was small and groundwater, which is largely viewed as a common pool resource, was able to provide water suf- SDWs density, their development and management practices ficiency for all needs/people. During that time, however, locals were already able to get some water by digging their The survey found that locals have useful skills in SDWs own SDWs and in the process accumulating and passing on key IK in developing and managing SAs. These IKs helped development and management. A total of 1248 SDWs were recorded in the field and these were mostly found in the the locals to survive ages of water stress in such a climati- cally disadvantaged area. Albeit not documented, such skills outskirts of the city and poor neighbourhoods where no piped water connections exist (Table 1). These findings are still being used today and are key to water sustenance for large populace that is still left by the piped water supply show that SDWs are heavily utilised by locals for nearly all water needs including domestic, bricks making, irrigation, infrastructure of the municipality. These skills need to be well preserved now that there is a global vanishing of SDWs livestock, construction and mixing of chemicals used against livestock and crop pests. To put the importance of SDWs development and management skills (Kent et al. 2001). Furthermore, the increased population and irrigation to into perspectives, average household income from vegeta- ble and grapes gardens that are mostly irrigated with SDWs meet growing markets mean that more SDWs are developed to counter balance the increased water demands. Within the is ~ 1700$ = and 2600$ per year. Numerous such gardens occur in the suburbs and are largely in response to booming study area, gardening has singly been recognised as demand- ing a lot of water, especially during dry months. Conse- vegetable market. Past studies showed SDWs were heavily used for irrigation (Baumann et al. 2005). These findings quently, several SDWs have been opened in recent years to match increased vegetables demands (primarily due to agree with past studies showing that between 20 and 30% of Dodoma is suitable for SDWs development (Baumann the increased population brought by the recent relocation of et al. 2005). According to Baumann et al. (2005) suitability 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Page 11 of 20 59 central government to Dodoma) but also for neighbouring 2000; De Louw et al. 2013). However, it is worth noting markets such as Dar-es-Salaam. that the country has signed and ratified several international FGDs put average household’s income from vegetables legislations related to ensuring water sufficiency to her and grapes gardening that are mostly irrigated with SDWs citizens it is expected that proper developments of water at ~ 1700 and 2600$ per year, respectively. This is regarded a supply system be implemented (Nkonya 2011). This wider good income locally and numerous such gardens occur in the want can be simplified by systematic inclusions of IK skills suburbs, largely due to the booming vegetables and grapes on groundwater management which have enabled locals markets. This will most likely continue to be the case as the to survive generations of water stress. It is worth recalling current water development is biased towards urban centres that local people have ubiquitously dug wells since time in and leave large part of the population in outskirts where memorial which have supplied water long before the con- huge amounts of water are needed with no reliable water temporary portability of water was invented (De Louw et al. supplies. Studies in Ethiopia showed that uncontrolled open- 2013). Such people therefore must have accumulated impor- ing up of SDWs led to drying up of aquifer due to numerous tant skills over the years which cannot simply be ignored. SDWs dried up (Eregno 2007). This is the exact situation in Dodoma Municipality but the These findings contradict national statistics showing that rare skills remain untapped and clearly excluded from water up to 46% of rural Tanzanians use improved water (Bau- governance, quite a predicament. mann et al. 2005) and it is rightfully clear that national rural Thus, the IK on management of SDWs should be recog- water supply and sanitation programme target of having 74% nised as it is clear that shallow and deep aquifers are strongly rural population with access to safe and improved water by interlinked (Shindo 1991). Further, the limited ability of the 2015 would not be realized (Baumann et al. 2005). The lat- locals to dig deep wells means that the locals and the elites ter development could be accounted by the fact that the city are exploiting different layers (shallow and deep aquifers, centre is relatively well connected to the formal water supply respectively) of the same interconnected resource. This than the suburbs (URT 2003). However, these findings are makes it necessary for the managers to engage the locals in general agreement with the national statistics that show in the holistic management of water resources. Clearly, the only 34% of the Tanzania population have access to piped current uncontrolled digging up of numerous SDWs will not water most of whom are in cities (URT 2002). Indeed, in come without some costs, as past studies showed that areas many suburbs, no potable water connection exists and locals most of SDWs developments are also hydrologically linked are entirely dependent on SDWs for all their water supply to the main aquifer supplying water in the city centre, the (FGDs, FOs). This, therefore, qualifies the shallow aquifer Makutupora basin which has already reported periods of as an important water source and the need to be incorporated decreased water levels (Rwebugisa 2008). Local ground- into the municipal water supply system. This also implies water also needs to be carefully managed as it is strongly that SDWs need to be improved to realize their maximum influenced by rainfall that has shown a declining trend potential for the people and to be incorporated into the over- (Shemsanga et al. 2016). all integrated water resources management program. Glob- ally, socio-economic context of many developing countries Drying up of SDWs and local response to current recognise SDWs as a key option for water supply where climate trends the other expensive technologies are often unavailable (De Louw et al. 2013). Although most SDWs have low yield, averaging at 1 m /day Thus, the current increases in the number of SDWs in (CFR, 4.5.5), there has been some complaints that in recent Dodoma is viewed as a necessity as many people do not years’ the SDWs have showed decreasing water levels and have access to clean water including water for drinking. As yield and that about 13 such SDWs in Mahoma Makulu and a result, the SDWs are heavily used for daily water needs viz Mahoma Nyika have completely gone dry except for runoff domestic, gardening, construction and livestock. The high filling them during rains. Drying up of SDWs and low yields dependence on the SDWs accounts to the fact that there is are partly the reason why more wells are being dug with the poor investment in water development and supply infrastruc- hope of finding more water particularly when such wells are ture which has resulted to only a small proportion of the needed for high water needs such as irrigation and livestock inhabitants being connected to the piped water (URT 2003). uses. In addition, FGDs with locals showed that several Furthermore, many times the pipelines run dry leaving local SDWs have become more ephemeral in recent years while people with no water supplies. Thus, high dependence on they used to be perennial (Table 1). Focus group discus- SDWs is largely considered as an adaptation to water stress sions further showed that owners of dried wells have either and must be managed to prevent aquifer deterioration from increased SDWs depths or dug new wells in prospectively over-exploitation especially because SAs are many times better locations and with relatively deeper depths. Worth connected to the DAs (Shindo 1991; Pulido-Bosch et al. noting, during the peak of dry seasons, owners of ephemeral 1 3 59 Page 12 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 SDWs either opt to buy water from their neighbours and/or existing SDWs network could be improved by allowing increase depths of their SDWs or dig deeper wells in pro- rainwater to pass through filter media before allowed into spective better locations. The latter developments have huge the SDWs (RGZ 2007). Undeniably, the SDWs, which were economic implications for the parties where a 20 L bucket originally meant to drain water from the aquifers, can also of water is sold for between 50 and 100 Tsh. This explains contribute to recharge process. Especially to be noted, many why certain individuals have several wells some of which of these SDWs, particularly the ones used for irrigation, are would become unproductive or with very low yields in the not pumped during heavy rains as crops are naturally irri- dry season. gated by rainfall and all water filling the wells will ideally Generally, water supplied from SDWs occurs in shallow recharge the SAs until when fully saturated. Thus, runoff water tables which are generally prone to climate variability is somewhat reduced and recharge fortified in such an area and ET losses hence more sensitive to rapid WT fluctua - where the catchment has severely been adjusted by human. tions (De Louw et al. 2013). Likewise, there are multiple Worth noting, SDWs recharge has been practised in more evidences of decreasing rainfall and warming trends in many geologically challenging settings and have proved success- semi-arid regions of Tanzania including Dodoma Municipal- ful, sometime equalling natural recharge from rainfall (Sun- ity (Shemsanga et al. 2016, 2017). To support this argument, derrajan et al. 2009). For instance, in India, it was found elders in Mtumba and Ntyuka villages clearly indicated that more-or-less equal amount of recharge was happening that rainfall intensities, longevity and, magnitudes have all from SDWs in the hard rock areas as the natural recharge decreased in recent years which in turn have impacted yields mechanisms (Tularam and Krishna 2009). Local people in in their SDWs as a direct result of altered recharge magni- India recognize the roles of SDWs recharge during rainy sea- tudes and longevity (FGDs). Recent local climate studies son and the likelihood of getting more water in dry months recognize the direct role of rainfall on groundwater recharge (Sunderrajan et al. 2009; Anandaraja et al. 2008). (Taylor et al. 2012). Thus, the decreasing rainfall means less The challenge with this kind of artificial recharge (AR) recharge and more temperatures mean higher PET, which locally is that most runoff comes with debris and have been again implies less capacity to recharge the SAs. noted to fill up the SDWs and clog fractures (Fig. 1). Large cross section area of the SDWs would also mean more ET Contribution of IK on groundwater management during dry months (Fig. 1). Therefore, improved design of (enhancing recharge) the SDWs and prevention of ET and direct runoff into the SDWs may improve water quality and the recharge process. Although, SDWs are mostly developed to abstract water However, there are still uncertainties that the individual from the SAs, the results show that they actually help to SDW recharges may not necessarily benefit the owners recharge groundwater by trapping water during storms and in times of need during dry months. While this worry is in the process offering increased time for deep percolation. valid, it is also true that recharge water used in any wells is This is especially vital because the local catchments have a function of individual point recharges from the catchment been altered by clearance of vegetation and are also com- and if many such schemes are made available and become pacted by human activities which often renders to more well-coordinated, in the long run the catchments’ WT will runoff and reduced infiltration (Valimba 2004). Thus, the improve for all SDWs users. It is worth noting that the more-or-less wide sizes of the SDWs locally (Fig. 1) means implementation of SDWs recharge in Dodoma Municipal- that significant volumes of water are trapped in them and ity would not be difficult as many SDWs already exist and left to infiltrate over an extended time. This is vital since local skills to develop new ones at low cost are available. local SDWs are often not fully utilized during rainy season The challenge then remains on how to design SDWs that as local dwellers would also use rain water for various uses. would not pollute groundwater from runoff contaminants In the crop fields and even for domestic uses Thus, SDWs which could range from nitrate to huge debris filling up the already act as recharge wells where there is a well-devel- requiring periodical maintenances. In Kerala, India, SDWs oped network of SDWs mostly close or along natural water recharge through freshwater from roof tops was attributed courses. Generally, each time the 1248 SDWs are filled up to improving water quality by reducing salinity and improve during rains will potentially recharge 5.05 mm (~ 1%) of the water table by up to 5 ft. (Raphael 2014). Thus, to control annual rainfall of about 550 mm/year compared to ~ 5–10% the problem of poor quality recharge water, attempts can that is naturally recharged through the vadose zone (Shindo be done to use roof top water to directly recharge aquifers 1991; Rwebugisa 2008). Thus, SDWs already work as via SDWs and completely prevent pollution. In addition, AR wells that were planned in the areas to slow declin- the same method was attributed to controlling the problem ing groundwater level but were never implemented due to of high iron content in water. Within the study area, the resources restraints (Salama 1979). Potential SDWs recharge problem of high salinity in SDWs water can also be con- was also reported in Zanzibar where it was concluded that trolled through this method. The success of the programme 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Page 13 of 20 59 in Kerala led to successful replication of the procedure to India and Kenya, local people in Dodoma have immense other areas in India (Raphael 2014). These low-cost AR knowledge at observing indicator vegetation and the chang- mechanism has a good chance of working as part of the ing of atmospheric humidity and timing of flowering plants infrastructure particularly SDWs and iron roofs already exist and patterns to predict the approaching of rainfall seasons in the municipality. Similarly, small earthen dams, some of and would accordingly/timely prepare crop fields. In Zimba- which already exists in the area, can be developed along cho- bwe, IK on groundwater management proved to be useful in sen areas of SDWs to collect runoff and allow it to settle to monitoring and mapping groundwater fluctuations (Chikodzi separate sediments before allowing the water into the SDWs. et al. 2014). Such skills are often passed on through genera- This will help to store more water against high ET that often tions based on practical experiences and are useful to the leads to most surface waters drying up a few weeks after populace in the absence of the modern technology and other rains (Shemsanga et al. 2016). resources constraints. In India, progress has been made to develop national pol- Furthermore, through the use of IK, scholars have dis- icy and strategy to encourage groundwater recharge from covered many important groundwater information that oth- millions of such SDWs that were originally designed for erwise would not be possible. For instance, IK have been irrigation but their potential for recharge ignored (Krishna widely used to study groundwater management aspects, et al. 2009). Locally, efforts can also be done to harness including in recent approaches such as groundwater model- most recharge potential out of the SDWs by introducing ling. With the help of IK and other information on water better designs and improving well densities and depths resources management from local people, Watts (2012) was especially along and/or close to the natural water courses able to successfully include past information into surface (Fig. 2). These will technically play two folds’ roles of pro- and groundwater models in Wudjuli Lagoon Australia. viding water to the needy and enhance groundwater recharge Similarly, the use of IK in groundwater modelling helped process. Already, plenty of local skills are available, what to properly monitoring water resources and allocations and is missing is coordination and provision of better designs ensuring that over-pumpage does not threaten local wetlands and working tools. Indeed, the IK deserve better recogni- (Watts 2012). It is, therefore, inappropriate to ignore such tion, improvements and naturalisation into the overall water vital efforts in water resources management as local people management plans and strategies as they already play vital have been developing and managing water resources particu- roles in the overall water resources management while not larly SDWs and the general SAs for centuries from which officially recognised. strong skills have been gathered, accumulated and, passed In areas of water stress, local people have developed IK in on through generations (McDonald et al. 2005). digging and managing SDWs (Chikodzi et al. 2014). Like- wise, local people in Dodoma have well-developed IK on Insignificant recognition of contribution of SDWs identifying, protection and, managing recharge areas and and IK in water supply mechanisms. For instance, wetlands and rivers courses have repeatedly been identified as some of the most prominent Although 20–30% of the study area is suitable for develop- recharge sites by the locals and have accordingly been pro- ment of improved SDWs (Baumann et al. 2005), officially tected against degradation and erosion. These efforts deserve there is no emphasis on SDWs as a possible source of water better recognition, outscaling and above all, upscaling to supply in Dodoma city. Personal communication with lead- other areas with similar environmental settings. It’s worth ers of WRB puts it clear that SDWs are currently not part noting that modern science also, recognizes the roles and of current water supply plans in the city. “One cannot plan potentials of wetlands and rivers as prolific recharge sources to include SDWs in the formal water supply systems of of many aquifers globally (Bergström 2013). Dodoma as it is difficult to rely on them” (personal com- A series, other IK key for water resources management munication with Mr. Mihale, WRB). While this position also exists globally where observation of insects and atmos- may be right, it is also arguably true that SDWs already pheric phenomena such as halos have widely been used for support many people in the suburbs, piped water supply in weather forecasting long before the current meteorology was Dodoma is not reliable and only a few people are connected developed (Anandaraja et al. 2008). In India many locals are (URT 2003). However, SDWs have major advantages over still without access to modern weather forecasting and the boreholes that are worth considering in the overall water traditional weather forecasting which are centred at observa- resources of Dodoma and beyond. Unlike for boreholes, the tion of the moon and insects play key roles in agricultural level of local involvement is already high, highly skilled activities (Anandaraja et al. 2008; Sunderrajan et al. 2009). labour is often not required, SDWs are most of the time Further, in Kenya, farmers still prefer to combine modern affordable to locals, the wells serve as own reservoirs and tradition weather forecasting methods which seem to and often no storage tanks are needed, SDWs are often work better there (Esipisu 2012). Unlike the situation in developed where water is needed and, therefore, no heavy 1 3 59 Page 14 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 infrastructural costs to lay pipe lines are necessary and cheap players, much so the local people and their rich IK on water technology is often/readily available (Shamsudduha 2009). resources governance (URT 2002, 2009). Further, the fairly large storage capacity from the relative Further, irrespective of the recognition of the vital roles large sizes/widths of SDWs offer a possibility of produc- of IK on management of natural resources, education and, ing sufficient water even when aquifer permeability is low knowledge sharing by the UN (ISDR 2012), little is being and all materials needed to dig typical SDWs are readily done locally to link the roles of IK with groundwater man- available. Likewise, if operational pumps are installed, water agement. Thus, the importance of IK information manage- can still be abstracted at times of pump faults, through a ment and exchange is not implemented locally. Likewise, the bucket and pulley system, which are not uncommon in many UN guidelines requiring the use of relevant traditional val- developing countries. In addition, horizontal drilling often ues to be shared with all interested and affected parties and done in SDWs can improve water yield and finally, SDWs adapted to different target audiences for the common ben- maintenance can be done by the readily available skills at efits of all players is not applied. It is the view of this study a local level compared boreholes (De Louw et al. 2013). that, although not recognized, IK already play a big role in One can, therefore, argue that these traits qualify SDWs as ensuring water sufficiency to the riparian society something important water sources for the poor and that they cannot that was to be done by the government. Thus, inclusion and simply be ignored. adapting some of the good IK is the way forward and so is The fact that local people (mostly poor) and the elites in improving the technically bad practices locally. Therefore, the city centre get their water supplies from different lay - acknowledging, understanding and, respecting IK must be ers of the same interconnected aquifer (shallow and deep done to succeed in the much advocated national water policy aquifers, respectively) necessitates managers to integrate the and IWRM (URT 2010). Globally, integration of IK in man- local peoples’ efforts and their IK in the overall water man- agement of natural resources have provided better accept- agement plans. Locally, however, SDWs have several man- ance and results than centrally i.e. planned top–bottom pro- agement problems requiring improvements to prevent pollut- grammes (Hoppers 2002; Hoppers 2002; Nyong et al. 2007). ing the aquifers both shallow and deep and over-abstraction of the groundwater for the whole agrarian society. Simi- Vegetation as indicator of shallow groundwater/ larly, frequent drowning of humans and livestock into poorly aquifers developed SDWs and excessive water loses via the semi-arid ET would need to be addressed. Simple technologies that are Observation of vegetation as an indicator of groundwater is locally available and affordable such as fencing the wells widely practised locally (FOs and FGDs). For instance, areas with readily available materials, and putting SDWs covers/ where the vegetation is greener and healthier than average lids would completely remove the problem. areas at the peak of dry seasons are often suspected of hav- These findings clearly show that the current water man- ing closer water table. Thus, locals would dig SDWs in such agement settings have major disjoints between the much areas and often locate water (FOs, FGDs). Interestingly, the advocated national water policy that focuses on integrated practice of using the status of the vegetation health as an approaches and what is actually been practised in the city. indicator of groundwater and/or soil moisture is constant Yet, the rick IK, that are vital in the local groundwater with modern science (Mata-González et al. 2012; Nocco management aspects, are not clearly echoed in the basin et al. 2013; Sommer and Froend 2014). Locals in ancient authority management plans/strategies. However, SAs and times also used vegetation and soil moisture as indicators Das are often closely interconnected, contamination and/ of groundwater (Kent 2001). Recent studies recognize the or over-abstraction of the shallow aquifers would inevita- role of vegetation health as an indicator of soil moisture bly impact closely intertwined deep aquifers (Shemsanga (Dorigo et al. 2012; Ridler et al. 2012). Thus, local people et al. 2017). Thus, the broad management of the local water have repository of skills that are important tools for water resources requires IK to be preserved and incorporated in the resources management in the area and beyond and must be official groundwater management plans. Furthermore, there conserved and most importantly improved, included in the is a sharp contrast to the national water policy that primarily water resources management strategies. intends to manage water resources (surface and groundwater, In contrast, certain plant species are associated with shallow and deep aquifers) holistically. The findings agree close water table and wherever they are spotted, locals with the national statistics that shows that about 30% of would dig wells around those areas. One such tree that rural water supply infrastructures are not working well and/ has repeatedly been identified by local people was Ficus or poorly managed (URT 2002). These findings also contra- sycomorus, among others that could not be identified in dict the core values of the much advocated IWRM nation- the field. The truth of the matter, however, is that the nat- ally, which by the virtue of its, definition should involve all urally/preferred ecological range of Ficus sycomorus is water logged localities (Galil and Eisikowitch 1968). In 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Page 15 of 20 59 EA, the tree prefers river banks where moisture is plenty Co‑existence of termites’ mounds and groundwater year-round (Ibid). Thus, the fact that F. sycomorus grows in the suspected groundwater potential areas is simply One groundwater exploration technique that was used because the ecological niche of tree requires presence of in nearly all surveyed areas includes the use of termite’s a lot water to flourish and locals in Dodoma use this fact mounds as indicator of shallow groundwater. Locals to successfully explore for SDWs. Clearly, such efforts strongly associate the mounds with good chances of locat- cannot simply remain untapped in the current water policy ing groundwater at closer depths. However, the relation- framework. ship between termites’ mounds and high soil moisture is The results further show that locals have basic knowledge scientifically well accepted. Ecologically, termites require of trees which consume more water. For instance, locals in presence of close water table water for their survival dur- Mtumba mostly plant indigenous tree like Acacia spp. trees ing dry seasons (Crook et al. 2013). Thus, it has been and singled out Eucalyptus spp. trees as consuming more proved scientifically that presence of termites’ mounds water and, therefore, should not be planted near recharge indicates high soil moisture and locals in Dodoma have areas and SDWs. Interestingly, Eucalyptus spp. are consid- capitalised on this fact (Crook et al. 2013). Interestingly, ered among heavy water consumers and scholars equally dis- groundwater explorers from MASOCHI Water Resources courage planting them in water sensitive and stressed areas Exploration Co. Ltd, Dodoma, often use termites’ mounds (Kaburi and Medley 2011; Menge 2013). Thus, locals have a as a starting point for geophysical surveys (FOs). By coin- good understanding of environmental conservation and it is cidence, modern groundwater geophysical survey in Nzu- plausible to integrate such skills in the overall management guni found the best borehole location only about 1.5 m of groundwater. Thus, such skills should be well documented from a termites’ mound (Fig. 3). Two more deep wells for effective management of groundwater locally and beyond were placed on top of termite mounds in Zuzu and Chololo as they support environmental awareness and conservation. suburbs (File observation). Thus, this IK seems to work well in Dodoma and has helped locals to locate highly productive wells that remained perennial throughout the Prospecting for SDWs using geomorphology year (FGDs). Similarly, simple groundwater exploration and surface hydrology technique using dowsing rods, that helps locals to locate best SDWs locations, strongly deflect and cross on top Generally, locals had high skills on groundwater flow pat- of termite mounds as compared to adjacent areas (filed terns and dynamics including linking geomorphology and measurements and observations, Fig. 5). Interestingly, groundwater occurrence and flow. Close observation of some SDWs diggers in Mtumba periodically used dowsing many local SDWs reveals that apart from wells being placed rods to locate most suitable areas for SDWs development on geological faults, termites’ mounds and, water indica- (FGDs). In other areas, it was observed that people that are tor plants, most other wells were sited along rivers/runoff commercially engaged in the digging SDWs increasingly channels, valley bottoms and, wetlands. In many cases, geo- use dowsing rods to ensure their digging is successful. physical surveys have located wells in more-or-less simi- This shows that mixing of traditional groundwater explo- lar localities to where local peoples’ wells exist (Personal ration skills like the use of termite mounds and simple communication with Mrs. Mcharo, WRD, Dodoma, and groundwater explorations like dowsing rods can enhance FOs). Indeed, most productive wells in Dodoma, includ- water availability and that locals can receive new technolo- ing those from the main well field, MWF, are placed on gies and the modern skills can be disseminated to them. wetlands, flood plains and, along drainage channels (Shindo The dowsing rods were particular used in areas already 1991, FOs). However, it is a common understanding that suspected to have water and more-or-less served as con- groundwater flow closely follows general geomorphology firmation steps before digging (Personal communication and most notably surface water flow (Shindo 1991; Nag with Mr. Charles Jackson, a local SDWs digger). Thus, and Ghosh 2013). Worth noting, natural water channels and with proper inclusion of the locals, modern groundwater wetlands are prime recharge areas (Stellato and Newman development skills can effectively be disseminated to them 2013). This is very useful as such localities would often get and ensure water sufficiency to a larger part of the city. recharge from the rains and also benefit from the seasonal This suggest that the local IK have some scientific back - rivers. Thus, these seasonal rivers and wetlands provide ings and, therefore, cannot simply be ignored like in the more recharge time than the mere rains, which often end up status quo. Improved designs are thus likely to be received as runoff due to high rates of catchment modification and as locals already understand the challenges and any better compaction by removal of vegetation and human activities ways of carrying the assignment is likely to be accepted. (Shemsanga et al. 2017). Thus, the use of termite mounds to locate wells can be extended to similar regions with shortage of water such as 1 3 59 Page 16 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Singida and Tabora. Thus, groundwater managers should were left with no choices between different sectors. This consider at local people as partners and co-manage the was mostly observed in Kitelela suburb where locals were aquifers and not otherwise. forced to walk long distances to collect fresher water from neighbouring areas and/or opted to fetch water from compa- Occurrence of groundwater along geological faults rably less salty wells (FGDs). Worth noting, interviews held in Ihumwa and Mahoma Makulu were able to show where This study revealed that local people in Dodoma have placed to dig SDWs with relatively good and salty quality water. their SDWs along geological faults for a long time (FOs Interestingly, one particular location of the catchment was and FGDs). Further, it was found that the locals inherited pointed as having salt water and indeed field measurements the indigenous exploration technique from their older gen- of its quality recorded high EC of ~ 4500. These skills are erations in which many wells were placed along, what they considered crucial now when there are increasing scramble called, mapango ‘earth caves’. Interestingly, it is scientifi- for freshwater resources and when poor water quality is of cally accepted that assessment of structures and patterns global concern (Olokesusi 2004; Biswas 2008). of faults is vital for groundwater exploration. According to In addition, locals recognise seasonal variations in salin- Elder Mcharo, a senior hydrogeologist at the WRD Dodoma, ity and were able to show that it was higher during the peak local faults are among the most viable localities for ground- of dry season and progressively reduced in rain months water exploration. In addition, the most productive wells (FGDs). Locals, however, were unable to explain why there at Makutupora depression are all placed along geological were such seasonal variations in salt content of the SDWs. faults particularly Mlemu and Kitope faults (Shindo 1991; The locals failed to link seasonal salt dilution due to recharge Rwebugisa 2008). Generally, the likelihood of groundwa- and subsequent concentrations with ET and over-abstraction ter occurrence along faults is a well-known science (Zhang during dry months, and the fact that at the peak of dry sea- et al. 2014) especially when the faults intersect the ground sons, recharged water would have interacted with the soil/ surface (Siebert et al. 2007). Locally, several wells along rock matrices for a longer period (Elisante and Muzuka faults had high yields (FOs and measurements). Two SDWs 2015). Generally, the seasonal salinity variation as observed in Mtumba had tested yield of about 17 m /h in the peak by the locals would be affected by the direct recharge into of dry season and were heavily utilized for domestic and the aquifers/wells during wet season (De Louw et al. 2013; gardening and did not show signs of reduced yield after Shemsanga et al. 2017). In addition, chances of water from 3 h of continuous pumpage (field measurements). Gener - the wells mixing with runoff water are also likely to be ally, wells along faults sustain important livelihood systems another factor in regulating saltiness during rainy season locally where they often serve as the only source of water (Fig. 1). In contrast, since the wells are shallow and mostly in many areas (Fig. 1). However, if water is required at the open to ET, pure water from SDWs progressively escape the appropriate quality, the SDWs along such faults must be mixture and in the process leaving more salt concentrated protected against runoff from manure, foot paths, roads, live- waters. Furthermore, during the dry season, the water being stock sheds/houses and, pit latrines wastes all of which have abstracted is pure groundwater that has interacted with salt the potential of polluting SDWs (FOs). Figure 5 shows that minerals in the rock matrix for relatively longer periods runoff from the aforementioned sources can easily access the (Elisante and Muzuka 2015). Similarly, since the wells are wells with the potential of contaminating the wells/aquifers. shallow and mostly open to ET, pure water progressively escape the mixture and in the process leaving more salt Water quality and seasonal variation in salinity concentrated waters. In contrast, rainfall renewals would and water disinfection see mostly rainfall water recharging the wells hence dilut- ing it. However, since the SDWs are mainly recharged by The results show that locals have good skills on water qual- local rains as opposed to deep aquifers which are thought to ity, hardness and, suitability aspects and accordingly desig- benefit from regional contributions, the decreasing rainfall nate various SDWs for different uses based on their specific trends (Shemsanga et al. 2016, 2017) would directly affect water quality. The survey revealed that areas known to have shallow aquifers the most. blackish and fresh water are purposefully dug for livestock In addition, some areas of Mtumba and Nzuguni, local and domestic water supplies, respectively. Generally, wells people allow runoff to pour into the wells to reduce the high with salty waters were carefully identified by locals and water salinity. While this may help to temporarily reduce the accordingly used for the purposes that would suit the com- salts, it poses imminent danger to clog wells’ fractures, fill paratively high salinity contents. In most cases, such waters up the wells volumes, polluting the wells and, potentially were reserved for irrigation, livestock and, brick making as the aquifer from runoff contaminants such as manure and opposed to domestic use. In other villages, however, water effluents from shallow pit latrines which are not uncom- from all SDWs were generally salty in which case, users mon in the area (Fig. 1). It would be interesting to ascertain 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 Page 17 of 20 59 how dilution of water by direct runoff mean in terms of SAs (2002b) showed that livestock were among the leading pollution by analysing key water quality parameters such causes of SGs pollution. as nitrate and faecal matters. A study in Arusha found that In addition, even when separated, wells used by humans wells that were open to runoff were more polluted than those and livestock were often very close to each other, in some prevented from direct runoff and which were recharged by cases < 10 m. This close proximity of the wells used by water that had filtered through the soil matrix (vadose zone) humans and livestock may as well lead to cross contami- (Elisante and Muzuka 2015). Previous studies indicated nation. Furthermore, in Nzuguni and Nzasa suburbs, live- that nitrate pollution was a major problem in groundwater stock wells were found to be upstream of humans wells (Nkotagu 1996b, c; Shemsanga et al. 2017). Equally impor- which leaves a possibility of the livestock polluted water to tant and as a response to water related ill health, locals in flow and reach human wells. Previous studies showed that Mtumba treat water for drinking from SDWs by solar dis- most wells had serious nitrate pollution of up to 450 mg/L infecting them using plastic bottles. Treatment of water for (Nkotagu 1996b, c). It would be expected for example to drinking in plastic bottles is a good sanitation practice that have human wells in the upstream of the catchment and the has proved success globally and would need to be upscaled livestock wells on the downstream. This is one area that and outscaled. Locally, solar disinfection should be effective researchers could improve management of groundwater, and cost effective methods as will utilize high local solar particularly SAs and SDWs. UV potential and if well-planned is likely to work better. Generally, the aforementioned local groundwater alloca- Solar disinfection of drinking water is also advocated by tion skills seem to work well as animals would normally present hygiene practices worldwide and has proved to be be grazing in the pasture lands in the mornings and would effective in controlling water borne diseases including chol- stop by to drink as they are trailed back to their sheds/clos- era particularly in Africa (Conroy et al. 2001; McGuigan ets/bomas in the evenings. Nevertheless, the challenge with et al. 2012). this method is that although the water would look clearer in the morning, it would not guarantee that the water is safe from contaminants such as nitrate which is locally associ- Water allocation, rationing and separation of wells ated with livestock wastes. Past studies revealed that high for different uses/users nitrate in groundwater was linked to poor sanitation and livestock wastes (Nkotagu 1996b). It should be mentioned Rationing, prioritization and, timing water uses and allo- that high nitrate in water is dangerous as it leads to Blue cation plans are vital water management aspects that are Baby Syndrome to young livestock and humans (Shaheen widely applied by the local people in Dodoma Municipality. 2015; Shemsanga et al. 2017). The best case scenario would The current results reveal that there were wells that are set be to avoid taking animals in the well fields as they would aside for humans and some for others uses such as livestock, inevitably drop a lot of nitrate in the process. The way for- irrigation and, bricks making. The sorting of SDWs for vari- ward may be to carry water to some locations away from the ous uses is primarily a function of its quality, particularly well fields and where runoff would not go back to the wells salt contents and water hardness i.e. easiness to form foam and the catchment. Yet, to control pollution and high nitrate with soap. Generally, humans had the first priority ahead rates, the entire agrarian catchment may need to be re-looked of livestock, construction, brick making and, irrigation. In at as opposed to point wells/sources (Nkotagu 1996b; Rwe- Hombolo Makulu and Ihumwa centres for example, humans’ bugisa 2008). wells were well-protected and their water looked clean com- pared to wells used by livestock. In the aforementioned loca- tions, the wells used by humans had low EC values of < 1000 Conclusions and recommendations compared to those used for other purposes which had much higher values (Field measurements). Interestingly, in places Owing to sustained water stress coupled with harsh climatic where wells were shared by humans and livestock, timing of conditions and poor investment in water supplies in Dodoma water uses was imposed where morning hours were mostly Municipality, SDWs remains vital sources of freshwater for reserved for humans whilst later hours were for livestock and the populace. In this study, a total of 1248 SDWs were sur- gardening. In Mayamaya, domestic water would be fetched veyed mostly in the city’s suburbs where they were often from 5:00 to 10:00 am (when livestock would be grazing the only sources of freshwater supplies. Thus, the chronic and later visit the wells from 3:00 pm onwards). The rest of water stress in the municipality has triggered local people the day would be spent by humans. However, locals often to develop and pass on vital IK on both SDWs develop- failed to associate the fact that, apart from the water looking ments and management. Clearly, the local IK framework dirty or clean, livestock wastes often increase the chances on development and management of SG provides for water of nitrate pollution. Elisante and Muzuka (2015) and URT sufficiency to large part of the city’s population that is not 1 3 59 Page 18 of 20 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:59 currently connected to piped water supplies. The key local Further, the IK already helps the recharge process where IK includes explorations of groundwater via the use of ter- up to 1% of the local rainfall recharges the SAs through mites’ mounds and vegetation as indicators of presence of SDWs. Thus, water managers should especially include groundwater, digging SDWs along geological faults, iden- locals and their rich IK to design better wells that would tifications of wetland and natural water courses as sources provide for water sufficiency but at the same time promote of recharge and accordingly protecting them, among many recharge mechanisms. Irrespective of these rich IK, however, others. Thus, while the scientific route to manage ground- the local SDWs are not currently recognised as key water water is hampered by many challenges including data and supply systems in the existing water programmes, which resources constraints, with minimal improvements, and undermines their adaptations and management. However, proper recognition of local IK can contribute to effective such skills are worth included in the contemporary ground- groundwater management framework via aforementioned water management measures as local SDWs already play IK. This highlights recent developments in inclusive water vital roles in water supply for various social-economic governance, such as socio-hydrology, where interplays activities, including agriculture and domestic uses. Thus, between hydrological and social processes including co-evo- it should be stressed that IK and modern science can co- lutions and self-organisation of humans-water systems using exist and make, management of groundwater in Dodoma different cultures and skills are considered vital and must city practical and ensuring more people are water sufficient be integrated. Thus, the interplay between the local IK and but in a sustainable way. water resources in Dodoma Municipality offers such a suc- Acknowledgements The funding was provided by the Government of cess story which deserves to be better recognised, upscaled Tanzania. and, outscaled to other areas with comparable hydrological and socio-economical settings. However, the aforementioned Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Crea- remain clearly undocumented and missing in the local water tive Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creat iveco governance strategies and policy interpretations.mmons.or g/licenses/b y/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribu- tion, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate Further, the well-developed water allocation plans credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the between different users and uses work fine locally and with Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. little conflicts. Generally, some SDWs are often set aside for livestock and others for humans’ uses. Clearly, locals have a good understanding of water quality issues, especially on salinity and potential for water pollution from livestock. 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