TANGA: THE Chairperson of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) Board of Directors, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, has criticised organisations and individuals, including fellow Tanzanians, who continue to oppose the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.
The former Chief Secretary believes that the lack of knowledge about the project’s proce- dures, particularly those related to international standards for minimising negative environmental impacts, is the main cause of the unjustified opposition.
Ambassador Sefue strongly encouraged both institutions and individuals to take proactive measures by visiting the project sites and familiarising themselves with the project’s strategies to effectively mitigate any potential negative environmental or social impacts.
He emphasised the eco- nomic significance of this project, as it is expected to contribute a substantial amount of 2.3 trillion/- to the national income.
“The project has the po- tential to transform people’s lives and increase productivity through the implementation of various educational techniques to educate those affected by the project about modern agriculture,” he pointed out.
Ambassador Sefue believes that the EACOP initiative is likely to become a global benchmark for similar projects based on his first- hand observations and gath- ered intelligence.
“They have gone above and beyond what is required by national and international law.
They have initiated studies to aid in the protection of rare bird species and marine animals, including the Dugong,” he revealed.
“They are also restoring sea grass in some areas and damaged coral reefs, in ad- dition to using modern technological systems to prevent heat from the pipeline from escaping to the land,” he added.
The Director of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at EACOP, Geoffrey Mponda, revealed that the project has made a significant financial investment in research.
“The purpose of this research is to provide strong support for initiatives that aim to preserve the ecosystem and protect endangered species of plants and animals in the regions where these initiatives operate,” said Mr Mponda.
The project’s environmental strategy is based on four principles, according to Mohammed Nuru, the Project’s Biodiversity Co- ordinator.
They are Avoid, Mitigate, Restore, and Offset (AMRO). “EACOP will collabo- rate with various institutions to manage and protect biodiversity,” he said.
Meanwhile, a TPDC Board Member, Ms Zuhura Muro, urged parents and other members of society to launch an aggressive campaign to encourage females to pursue technical studies in order to improve their em- ployment prospects in large projects like the EACOP.
She stated that women are underrepresented in the oil and gas industry and that there is a need for specific awareness efforts to encourage women to pursue technical subjects that will enable them to work in this industry.
“Without encouraging young girls to join technical colleges, gender balance will never be achieved in this sector,” she stated.
According to available information, only 67 out of 255 employed Tanzanians are women.