MINISTER of State in the Vice-President’s Office (Union and Environment), January Makamba yesterday called for an end to corruption and issuance of fake environment impact assessment (EIA) certificates entertained by some workers of National Environment Management Council (NEMC).
Launching a new NEMC board in Dar es Salaam, Mr Makamba regretted that the two vices seemed to persist. He said issuance of fake certificates was behind the establishment of projects in wrong places, causing crises and complaints.
“The board must ensure corruption and issuance of fake certificates come to an end,” he stressed. He called for effective supervision of EIA processes to get anticipated results. “There is a big number of project write-ups and applicants for EIA approval and certificates,” he noted.
The minister also highlighted problems that needed solutions and called on the board to work on them. The board must ensure NEMC has a good number of workers in all essential fields and appropriate working tools.
NEMC has 150 workers. He highlighted NEMC’s lack of experts to handle issues related to gas, oil and minerals. He said NEMC should initiate and coordinate researches in Tanzania, reminding that environmental challenges and problems knew no national boundaries and often called for concerted effort.
“Environmental protection is both a national and world agenda,” the minister said, naming challenges and problems fast sweeping the world as depletion of the ozone layer, climate change effects, proliferation of genetically modified organisms and increasing desertification.
Mr Makamba called on the board to help NEMC increase earnings, saying at the moment NEMC collected less fees than those named in the law and regulations. “The board should think of new revenue sources because NEMC survives on the revenue it collects.”
He called for the establishment of Western Zone to raise the number to seven from the present six zonal offices. He also called for concerted effort to increase a public awareness campaign to create active, but informed environment stakeholders.
“At the moment,” the minister said, “stakeholders are largely uninformed.” He noted that the new National Environment Policy was planned and called on the board to take an active role in the review of the National Environmental Policy, 1997.
The board chairman, Prof Esnati Osinde Chaggu, pledged to implement fully all issues listed by the minster, while NEMC Director-General, Dr Samuel Gwamaka, promised that NEMC would initiate new work approaches and implement thoroughly programmes and projects that would be agreed on. He also promised a pitiless crusade against people encroaching on land near water sources.
Other members in new board apart from Prof Chaggu are Dr Flora Tibarazwa, Prof Hussein Sosovele, Dr Catherine Masao, Mr Damas Masologo, Dr Neduvoto Mollel, Prof Dos Santos Silayo, Dr Mwakalukwa Ezekiel and Prof William Mwegoha.