The Minister of State in Vice President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment), Mr January Makamba, yesterday told the Parliament that serious measures are required to save the country from environmental disaster.
He told the House while tabling his office’s budget estimates for the 2017/18 fiscal year, that according to a report by the National Forestry Resources Monitoring and Assesment (Naforma), Tanzania is losing 372,000 hectares of natural forests per annum.
According to the minister, the biggest challenge that his office is facing is poor environment knowledge by the people. “I believe this will be a challenge for us all, and we should educate our people that most of the adverse effects that we are experiencing today are a result of our own activities,” said the minister.
Speaking of his latest tour of the Ngorongoro Crater, the minister said that one third of the crater has been invaded y allien species. “Other parts of the crater have also been invaded by the species, the greenery is still there but it is not consumed by the animals. A task force made up by scientists is currently working on the matter and will soon table measures to arrest the situation.”
He also talked about the Greater Ruaha River which he recently toured. He told the House that the water flow is largely affected and poses a huge danger to two main hydropower dams, namely, Mtera and Kidatu
“There are a number wealthy and highly placed individuals who have diverted water from the river to their farms. We are going to deal with them accordingly to save the water flow and the greater Ruaha-Rufiji basin,” the minister said.
He noted that the government has successifully whipped a ban on the production of sachet-packed spirits, popularly known as viroba, which were a notorious agent of environmental pollution.