THE government closed down Double Tree Hotel in Dar es Salaam for failure to adhere to environmental management rules and regulations.
The hotel is blamed for discharging sewage into the sea. The order to close down the hotel was issued by the Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office (Environment), Dr Terezya Huvisa, during a sudden tour to the area.
Dr Huvisa, who was accompanied by her deputy, Mr Charles Kitwanga, toured the hotel to make a follow-up on earlier orders made by Mr Kitwanga. Dr Huvisa has also revoked the hotel's environment audit certificate and ordered the hotel to stop the sewage water from flowing into the sea and pay fines to National Environment Management Council (NEMC).
Mr Kitwanga confirmed the news to the 'Daily News' over the phone yesterday, saying that more hotels were likely to face the music.
"We have started with Double Tree but many more hotels will follow until we are satisfied that all the hotels along the shoreline do not discharge sewage into the sea," he said. Mr Kitwanga noted further that in his earlier tour to the hotel, he had ordered the hotel management to stop waste water from flowing into the sea and pay fines to NEMC within a week but until Wednesday it was already 13 days and the hotel had not complied.
"We have closed the hotel to give them time to implement our orders and the minister is more than willing to reopen the hotel anytime these orders are adhered to," he said. The NEMC Acting Director, Mr Ignus Mchalo, said that NEMC as a technical board in the environmental sector sees the move as necessary and that the decision should act as a lesson to other hotels.
"The hotel management had started to implement the order but the minister was not impressed with the low pace in which the directives were being implemented," he added.