11 August 2012

Tanzania: Legislators Worried About Chinese Firms

IN efforts to water down pressure on China's increasing business including winning many government contracts in the islands, Zanzibar government says it has been cautious in allowing foreign companies to work in the country.

A section of Zanzibaris including members of the House have expressed concern on the quality of products including construction work by some of the companies from China.

"China has been using its own companies for contract in Zanzibar; this is a normal practice even with other development partners such as BADEA, JICA, and KOICA. Our role is to make sure that services provided are of good quality to do away with substandard products," Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi informed legislators.

He said that China remains a good friend of Zanzibar, and that the big Asian nation has done a lot to Zanzibar, and Chinese work and services have so far been good, and "the government will make sure people enjoy standard goods and services.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Iddi has said Zanzibar is still faced with big challenges related to destruction of the environment which includes illegal quarrying for sand, blocks, rocks using dynamites and e-wastes through importation of used electronics.

"Our environment is under threat. Despite ongoing environmental conservation awareness which includes war on use of plastic bags, some people are still reluctant to support the initiatives. Let us work together to protect our land," Iddi said.

He also asked people in the islands to avoid building close to beaches, cutting down trees and destruction of rocks and coral reefs at the beaches in efforts to mitigate effects of climate change, which include soil erosion due to sea rise and increasing pollution of fresh water salinity.

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