THE government has said it has taken steps to curb land degradation through sustainable land management.
According to Deputy Minister of State in the Second Vice-President’s Office Mihayo Juma Nhunga at least 18 coastal areas, nine each in Unguja and Pemba Islands, have been identified as the most affected areas.
He told the House yesterday that the Second-Vice President’s Office, through the Environment Department, has been conducting mini-surveys to establish the extent of environmental degradation and appropriate measures that need to be taken.
Mr Nhunga was responding to Paje lawmaker, Jaku Hashim Ayoub, who wanted to know the measures taken by the government to curb land degradation.
The lawmaker also wanted to know the cost involved in addressing land degradation at Msuka in Pemba and other areas.
In response, the deputy minister named the landscapes that had been affected and successfully restored as Kilimani, Forodhanu, Kisakasaka, Charawe, Ukongoroni, Kitogani, Fuoni Kibondeni, Mkokotoni and Bumbwini in Unguja.
Others are Kisiwa Panza, Tumbe, Kengeja, Sizini, Ukele, Koowe, Ndagoni, Mkumbuu, Mziwanda, Gando and Chokaani in Pemba.
“A total of 112,453,500/- was spent on land restoration in areas affected by land degradation. A total of $426.575.39 (about 980m/- ), was also spent on the construction of groynes at Kilimani,” the deputy minister noted.
He reiterated the government’s resolve to fight against environmental degradation through continued sensitisation of environmental conservation, mass mobilisation and engagement.
The main causes of land degradation are urbanisation, migration, population dynamics and growth, rainfall variability as well as water quality and quantity.
Specifically, land degradation in Zanzibar is mostly caused by poor land management practices such uncontrolled extraction of sand for building purposes