4 July 2012

Tanzania: Climate Change Cripples Farming in Kilimanjaro

Moshi — Climate change, blamed on heavy environmental degradation on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, has dealt a devastating blow on farmers as almost all cash and food crops have been affected by this year's unreliable weather patterns, it has been revealed.

Opening a stakeholder's workshop, the Kilimanjaro Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Dr Faisal Issa warned participants that unless Kilimanjaro residents resolve to restore the environment and the depleted natural resource, the area may turn unproductive due to unreliable and unpredictable seasonal rainfalls.

He, therefore, appealed to participants who included members of the police force, the judiciary, the press, conservationists, to be vigilant of environmental degradation perpetrators and take stern measures because environment props our lives here on earth.

"There will be no or very little to harvest this year as long rains continue being elusive, at a time they are badly needed by crops," said the RAS.

Earlier, the organizer of the workshop, the Chief Park Warden of Kilimanjaro National Park, Mr Erastus Lufungulo mentioned some of the objectives of the workshop as to familiarize with one another so as to have a common stand and speak one language on pressing issues related to wildlife and environmental conservation.

One of the presenters, the Moshi District Catchment Officer, Mr John Karawa disclosed that paddy cultivation efforts in Lower Moshi area may be affected due to encroachers who invaded Rau forests where there are seven water sources feeding the paddy project. He said for catchment forests to continue to be a major source of water, there is need to involve community participation and there should be management cost sharing for those who benefit from forest products where deemed necessary.

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