NEMC: Register all projects for environmental impact assessment

DAR ES SALAAM: The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) has instructed that all projects to be implemented in the country to ensure that they carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that will enable the council to look for ways to control environmental effects caused by a specific scheme.

NEMC Acting Director of environmental Impact Assessment, Edika Masisi issued the order on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam, adding projects to be executed in the country must be registered with the council so that their activities on the environment are monitored.

She added: “Impact assessment must be conducted before any execution so that an environmental audit is issued and an environmental certificate provided.”

Stressing on the urgency of the matter, Ms Edika noted that the council has issued a notice till August this year for any group(s) to ensure that they comply with the environmental laws of the country, especially by conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment as well as presenting their annual audits.

According to NEMC, the main goal of the EIA is to determine the effects that may result from the operation of the projects in a specific area. This is because before any implementation, the council will find best way to control them in advance while the Annual audit helps gives them a clear picture on how the project is going to be executed in align with first information and environmental conservations conditions.

Additionally, Ms Edika urged that all development projects implemented in the country should consider environmental protection both for the present and coming generation.

“Environmental impact assessment has been continuously conducted, though not so much for government projects and individuals. Most people have been doing their activities without taking into account the legal requirement, so we find challenges in some projects, because according to the law an impact assessment for
an environment is the first thing to be done before any investment is implemented,” she pointed out.

In a related development, she applauded the energy and communication infrastructure projects, saying they have been doing their best to adhere to the requirements, despite facing some challenges in the mineral sector, where some small and medium miners have been reluctant to comply.

“The council still has a big job to ensure that all those who are required by law to carry out an environmental assessment before starting their activities and for those, who have started carrying out an environmental impact assessment, they should go for it,” she added.

On his part, the Acting Director of Monitoring and Compliance, Hamadi Kissiwa said that the Environmental Impact Assessment is important not only for the environment, but also for the investors themselves, because in the course, they acquire a certificate that levels the international standards.

“Most projects that begin without conducting this assessment find themselves not being able to continue for different reasons; in some cases the citizens rise against them as well as opposition on environmental issues,” he said.

Commenting on the annual audit’s reports, Mr Kissiwa said that in 100 registered projects in the country, only ten return to them with their annual audits.

The Acting Director noted that presently the council is embarking on a following up all the projects in the country, where one by one to check if what they are doing is what their certificate requires.

“The law demands that all projects should be reviewed every year and prepare information and deliver it to the council to check if there are gaps and conditions have been met… and when necessary, the council will go to the project to check if what is written is what is actually on the ground,” he said.

Speaking earlier, NEMC Environmental Management Officer, Gladness Malisa noted that the evaluation of the impact on the environment is an exercise that is done in two ways, firstly for projects that are to be implemented and secondly for ongoing projects, which did not conduct the impact assessment on the environment.

“Once the process is completed and the investor is handed his certificate, the council advises that during the implementation, the investor should have an Environmental Consultant who will help in the documentation to ensure that the environmental effects are controlled,” she noted.

She added “We do this exercise mainly to know effects, which might occur before the initiation of the project, so everyone environmental beneficiaries through any project should do an assessment of the impact on the environment.”

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