THE National Environment Management Council (NEMC) has issued a stern warning to environmental polluters, saying Arusha is increasingly conducting activities that pollute nature.
The council is determined to take stern measures against individuals, companies and industries that are engaged in such activities, with a special focus in Arusha that is the country’s major tourism hub.
Ahead of the World Environmental Day on Friday this week, the NEMC Manager for the Northern Zone, Mr Lewis Nzali, said that until July last year, there were 460 development projects in Arusha, but only 53 per cent of them had conducted environmental impact assessments.
Mr Nzali explained that Arusha Region was leading in environmental degradation in the zone, through projects such as industries.
He said the council’s officials had visited them and established that 50 per cent of them lacked proper sewage and noise pollution control systems.
“We have been touring these projects to establish what is right and what is wrong and subsequently issuing guidelines on how they should go about them.
We have also been taking several measures, including penalizing them,” said Mr Nzali. Mr Nzali warned all owners of industries and factories to make sure that they adhere to environmental laws and regulations.
He explained that this year’s World Environment Day theme is ‘Celebrate Biodiversity’ and instead of being marked in Lindi Region as planned, it will be held in every region through media channels due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This week, NEMC has been raising awareness among the public to conduct activities focused on environmental conservation, as a means of protecting nature and avoid the country turning into a desert, and destruction of ozone layer.
Activities that lead to environmental degradation include overpopulation, pollution, global warming, climate change, genetic modification, ocean acidification, water pollution and deforestation.
Mr Nzali said the country was facing challenges in environmental degradation due to misuse of resources that make environmental conservation unsustainable.
He cited such activities as deforestation, bad use of land and destruction of water sources through agriculture or tree cutting.