Gas discovery a blessing to TZ
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – Tanzania should adapt a recycling waste policy, increasing uses of gas instead of charcoal for cooking as a long term solution in ensuring sustainable environmental protection to address the pressing challenge of climate change and land degradation.
“The discovery of gas reserves in Tanzania should be used as stepping stone to employment, business opportunity and as a tool to alleviate poverty,” said UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Erik Solheim. He said UNEP is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environment agenda. Solheim commended efforts taken by the government through local municipalities to set an area in the outskirt of the city center at Pugu Dampo as a permanent place for cabbage damping without destructing the environment of the Dar es Salaam city. Solheim stressed that UNEP works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national governments, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and civil society. He added hope that “other leaders will be inspired to pick up the baton and ensure that Africa’s rich natural resources can be conserved, and thus serve as the foundation for a sustainable future and food security for all in the continent.” Solheim advised Tanzania government to increase ef- forts in the banning of the use of plastics bags. He said their use in large magnitude increases environmental degradation that pose a huge threat to the country’s social and economic development. “We also hail efforts taken by the high commissioners here in Tanzania such as China and the former two heads of state retired President Mwinyi and Mkapa for participating in the recently anti-poaching charity walk,” he stressed. UNEP, National Coordination Officer Clara Makenya said that the visit of the UNEP boss emphasized much on the reduction of uses of charcoal for cooking as the cultural fuel the cutting of trees across the country. “We had an opportunity to meet with civil society, NGOS and academicians on the pressing issues of climate change and food security as a fore agenda in many years to come,” she added. UNEP, boss has been following with keen interest and commends the efforts by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr John Magufuli in the fight against corruption and bringing about an end to poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. UN environment views the shift to Dodoma (over 580km from Dar es Salaam) as an opportunity to bring about positive change and development not just to the central part of Tanzania, but also the whole country. The sustainability of this anticipated growth can be reinforced with the integration of environmental consideration. In cooperation with partners, UNEP supports cities across the world in addressing environment impacts and integrating the environment into the long term strategic planning. It has been the case with the programs that UN environment has had in the country, such as the poverty and environment initiative Africa Environment Day, marked annually on 3rd March last focused on ‘ Combating Desertification in Africa: Enhancing Agriculture and Food Security.’ The continent has lost 65% of its agricultural land since 1950 due to land degradation, according to figures cited by UNEP. Up to 12% of its agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) is lost due to deteriorating conditions and 135 million people are at risk of having to move from their land by 2020 due to desertification.
“The discovery of gas reserves in Tanzania should be used as stepping stone to employment, business opportunity and as a tool to alleviate poverty,” said UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Erik Solheim.