Plant trees to protect environment, VP directs

THE Vice-President, Dr Philip Mpango has called upon Tanzanians to give priority to environmental protection by planting enough trees.

Dr Mpango took the stance on Sunday after attending a Church service led by Archbishop Father John Ndimbo at St Kiliani Catholic Church in Ruvuma Region, adding that environmental degradation in the area is mostly caused by cutting of trees in the forests and excessive herding of cattle in the same plots.

Recently in March this year, Dr Mpango appealed to nations to ensure that climate change adaptation and mitigation issues are adequately mainstreamed in their development plans, especially those targeting sectors mostly vulnerable to the problem, such as agriculture, water and energy.

Outlining the priority areas, he cited solar and wind energy, waste management disposal and green technologies as some of the issues to be addressed.

Like many other developing countries, Dr Mpango noted that Tanzania is already affected by climate change and variables to the extent of experiencing extreme occurrences such as droughts, floods, unpredictable rainfall patterns, rising sea level and sinking islands, which in turn result into food insecurity, water and social conflicts, disruption of livelihoods and major economic costs among others.

“Tanzania is estimated to have recorded economic losses to the tune of 33.7 million US dollars (about 77bn/-) due to adverse effects of climate change over the past ten-years due to floods,” he pointed out.

In mitigating the problem, the VP said that the country has developed a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the National Environmental Master Plan for Strategic Interventions (NEMSI), 2022-2032, which charts out strategic interventions to address environmental challenges based on their spatial variations.

In line with this, priority actions and specific areas for interventions regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation have been identified.

Such include countrywide tree planting, use of clean cooking energy, building small and medium sized dams to store rainwater for use during the year and construction of seawalls for protection of the coastline from erosion.

“I hereby call upon our development partners for enhanced support to the countries in climate financing,” the VP said.

In a related development, Dr Mpango urged parents and guardians to put emphasis on ensuring that children get education in order to have an educated nation which speeds up development.

The Vice-President is in Ruvuma region for a five-day working visit with the aim of reviewing development projects and listening to the various challenges of the people as well as launching development projects.

Meanwhile, Dr Mpango has urged the public in Nyasa District, Ruvuma Region to effectively utilise the Lake Nyasa resource for socio-economic sustainability.

Elaborating at the Mbamba Bay as part of his working visit in the region, he also alerted them on the dangers of polluting the lake, especially through plastic wastes they throw into the water body, adding that such rubbish take too long to decay and in turn kill organisms within.

Equally, he called upon the citizens to strengthen efforts on protecting water sources and environment, hinting that the government in the just started Financial Year 2023/2024 has allocated money for irrigation project in Kimbande area to enable them smoothly engage in sustainable agricultural production.

He also reminded them on appropriate use the Mama Samia Legal Aid Campaign that was recently launched in the region to address challenges pertaining to legal awareness including land ownership.

To ensure peace prevails in the country, Dr Mpango encouraged the residents to work in harmony and take caution against people, who immigrate illegally through porous borders.

He added: “Parents and guardians should work closely and morally in raising patriotism spirit among their children for lasting peace of the country.”

On his part, Deputy Minister for Work and Transport, Godfrey Kasekenya said the government has set aside some 22bn/- for the construction of the Mitomoni Bridge in the region to ease transport woes in the area.

Earlier, Dr Mpango laid the foundation for the Liuli Water Project worth nearly 5bn/- at Hongi village in Nyasa District that caters for about 16, 000 residents in five communities.

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