Lake Sulunga in Central Tanzania is a fertile oasis in the otherwise semi-arid and drought-prone region. Lake Sulunga is surrounded by a variety of settlements, with communities relying heavily on the lake not only for drinking water, but also for fishing, agriculture, livestock farming, and salt making. Uncontrolled tree cutting, bird poaching, and climate change all threaten the health of the lake ecosystem, and thereby threaten its utility for surrounding communities.
Poor data quality, the fragmented data landscape, and inadequate data collection, analysis, and use have hindered the production of timely and good quality environment statistics, making it difficult for the government to take action to protect the lake and the communities who live on and around it. Now, with the Africa Regional Data Cube, the Government of Tanzania is assessing water extent and improving policy to protect Lake Sulunga and the communities who depend on it for water, food, and income.