Climate change affects lives broadly – survey

MANY people are experiencing a decline in their quality of life due to climate change and are calling for the government to intervene more, according to a recent Afrobarometer survey.

A perception survey released on Wednesday by the leading economic research firm REPOA indicates that most citizens who are aware of climate change believe that it has a detrimental effect on their lives.

On average, eight out of 10 respondents (51 per cent) said climate change was making life much worse in Tanzania.

The 2022 report of the opinion survey outfit says that overall, formal education likely plays a role in raising awareness: almost 72 per cent of those with post-secondary education are aware of changes to their climate, compared to only 12 per cent of those with no formal education.

Presenting the findings in Dar es Salaam, REPOA Researcher, Mr Derick Msafiri said awareness of climate change is higher among urbanites (46 per cent) than among rural residents (24 per cent).

“About a third (32 per cent) of Tanzanians say they have heard of climate change,” he noted.

Mr Msafiri said it was crucial for policies in the country to focus on areas to raise awareness about climate change.

According to him, the survey offers opportunities for other researchers to pick an area and do more research on it.

The survey, titled “Citizens’ Perception on Pollution and Environmental Protection in Tanzania,” was divided into three areas: pollution and environmental problems, fighting pollution and environmental problems, and climate change.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in African countries.

Tanzania has completed surveys with Afrobarometer in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2017 and 2021. Surveys are conducted in Kiswahili. The national partner is REPOA Policy Research for Development.

On pollution and environmental problems, he said the key findings indicate that more than half (54 per cent) of Tanzanians consider pollution a serious problem in their communities.

“Tanzanians rank trash disposal and deforestation as the most important environmental issues in their community,” said Mr Msafiri.

REPOA Acting Executive Director, Dr Lucas Katera commented on the survey, saying that community members must be involved in various issues of concern in order to raise awareness and get them engaged.

Dr Fadhila Hemed, an Environmental Stakeholder said the new environmental policy launched last year covered climate change issues, so responsible people should take its recommendations on board.

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