Evidence of climate change impacts on water, food and energy resources around Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

  • Mateso SaidEmail author
  • Hans Charles Komakech
  • Linus Kasian Munishi
  • Alfred Nzibavuga Nyarubakula Muzuka


This review presents research evidence of climate change and anthropogenic impacts on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and its implications on water, food and energy production (WFE nexus). While there exist divided scholarly opinions on the impacts of climate change on the Mt. Kilimanjaro glacier, consistent decreases in precipitation amounts are evident throughout the existing literature. The 2050 projections indicate increases in the precipitation amounts by approximately 16–18%. However, it is also stated that there will be a concomitant increase in water deficit of about 71%, 27% and 1% in agriculture, hydropower and livestock production respectively. Despite a large number of researches on impacts of climate and anthropogenic pressure on WFE along Mt. Kilimanjaro slopes, there are still limited long-term, good-quality and high-resolution altitudinal precipitation, temperature records and observation network. Moreover, there is limited information on groundwater recharge areas and their stability under changing environment. It is not clear how the interdependence and interaction between climate change, irrigation, vegetation and river discharges affect groundwater recharge process. Also, there is scarce information on future land use/cover changes. Very limited studies focused on fog water deposition for Mt. Kilimanjaro forest and East Africa, despite its relevance as the water tower of the mountain streams. The review further highlights how both climate and anthropogenic impacts may affect ecosystem services in the region. There is a need for developing adaptive strategies for responding to climate change and anthropogenic impacts on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro now and into the future.


Climate change Anthropogenic activities Ecosystem services Land use change Kilimanjaro 



We acknowledge the contribution of our colleague and co-author Alfred Nzibavuga Nyarubakula Muzuka, who suddenly passed away before the online publication of this paper; we pray that his soul rest in eternal peace.

Funding information

This work was supported by African Development Bank (AfDB) through grant number 2100155032816, hosted at The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Water and Environmental Science and Engineering, School of Materials, Energy, Water, and Environmental Sciences and EngineeringThe Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and TechnologyArushaTanzania
  2. 2.Department of Engineering and Energy Management, College of Earth Sciences and EngineeringThe University of DodomaDodomaTanzania
  3. 3.Department of Sustainable Agriculture, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management, School of Life Sciences and Bio-engineeringThe Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and TechnologyArushaTanzania

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