ZANZIBARIS must start using renewable energy to avoid environment degradation to counteract negative impacts of climate change. The advice was delivered by Ms Asha Abdallah - Principal Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Economic Empowerment and Cooperatives at an awareness seminar on 'climate change' for principal secretaries and their deputies.
"Commitment through effective collaboration, workable planning and good leadership are essential in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts," she said at the seminar held at Ocean View Hotel in Zanzibar.
Ms Abdallah said that working together to address climate change was an immediate answer that should be adopted by leaders at all levels and motivate people towards mitigation. "We leaders, political parties, NGOs, CBOs and individuals should discuss how to curb environment degradation and other issues relevant to climate change," he said.
The Director for Environment, Mr Sheha Mjaja, informed participants that although the government has taken steps to reduce the problems that contribute towards climate change and pollution of the environment, more efforts are still required.
He said that Zanzibar as an island is more vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change and that it is high time the government and individuals engage in renewable energy investments. "We in Zanzibar have started to feel the pinch of the impacts of climate change.
The effects of climate change now in some parts of the islands include rising temperatures and sea-levels causing erosion and changes in rainfall patterns," Sheha said. He added, "Without workable measures, more natural disaster including intense heat waves is likely to worsen.
Climate change has also contributed to a rising demand in critical resources and economic threats due to prolonged drought in some parts of Africa." The environment officer emphasized to the Zanzibar executives from different ministries that the global climate change is an immediate and important issue that must be addressed by all people and that leadership's role is crucial in averting the visible and projected impacts of climate change.