Project to restore Msimbazi River status kicks off

THE government through Wami/Ruvu River Basin Office in partnership with the World Wild Fund for Nature ( WWF) Tanzania is working to restore Dar es Salaam’s Msimbazi River in a project which aims at increasing amount of water level, ensuring its quality of water and protecting  biodiversity within the river.

Msimbazi River, which is the largest river in Dar  Es Salaam City with a catchment area covering about 600 square kilometres, has been facing an increasing environmental destructions in recent years   resulting into decreasing of water level, causing the river to turn into a dry channel for a long period of the year (about 215 days of the year.)

Dar es Salaam City Council Environmental Management Officer Shabani Yusufu said after the exercise of planting 1,000 trees at the banks of Msimbazi River  at Pugu Station Ward in Ilala District, Dar es Salaam over the weekend more  trees will be planted  on  the  upper and down streams .

“Trees are the main hydrological converters, which means they carry large amount of water but they also enable constant flow of water,” he said.

Arbitrary cutting of trees causes damages to environment, a situation which we experience currently at this valley,” he explained, adding that the government was also working on implementing other projects to restore the river as well.

Ms Joan Itanisa, WWF Tanzania Communications Manager, mentioned that in the first phase, a total of 5,000 trees will be planted in the river valley by involving youth groups in areas where the river is passing.

“We are using different approaches and campaigns to get communities involved in what we do to protect our environment.  Today, we are joining the rest of the World in marking the ’60 Minutes’ World  Environment  Campaign  also known as ‘Earth Hour’ and we used the opportunity to motivate  communities to join us and plant trees in this area and they have responded positively,” she said.

The event was attended by representatives from  Wami/ Ruvu Valley office, Tanzania Forest Services (TFS), Tanzania Breweries Limited ( TBL),  students from various schools,  members of Dar es Salaam Jogging Club, residents of Pugu Station area and  nearby areas  as well as various environment stakeholders from in and outside the country.

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