23 June 2014

Tanzania: Govt Vows to Remain Firm On Environmental Conservation Strategies

Photo: Marc Patry/Unesco

Mwanza — TANZANIA has maintained its firm commitment to environmental protection, challenging all investors seeking to invest in the country to secure internationally recognised environmental strategies and specifications.

Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Ghalib Bilal, said here over the weekend that although Tanzania was fighting hard to build a strong middle economy by 2015, its agenda on environmental conservation was there to stay.

He was speaking during the opening of a 7.5bn/- new waste water treatment plant at Serengeti Breweries Ltd (SBL) plant in Mwanza with the capacity of treating 1,728 cubic metres of water daily.

"I have been impressed by this kind of investment targeting to conserve the environment and call for other investors, particularly the mining companies to emulate the move and meet international standards on the agenda," said the VP.

He said a new drive should be ignited between the public and private sectors on spearheading an important agenda on environmental development in the country which is key to the country's economic race.

On SBL, Dr Bilal said the government was impressed by its initiative to install state-of the art waste water treatment equipment, but challenged it to make sure the cleaned water is not wasted.

He was responding to the call by the SBL management that pointed out that it can only use 30 per cent of the treated water at its plants while the remaining 70 per cent is just discharged out.

The VP said SBL has to make sure its cleaned and recycled water is not wasted but is used by the neighbouring community for domestic activities like gardening and washing or even for irrigation farming.

SBL new Board Chairman, Mr Nehemiah Mchechu said the company apart from its environmental commitments; it has set an agribusiness agenda in collaboration with farmers and big farms across the country.

"We are now championing an agribusiness agenda which has become a successful driver of local raw materials sourcing, helping to cut imports of raw materials by 100 per cent in the very near future," he said.

The company, he said, has massive agri-investment plans and is now entering into agreements with farmers in West Kilimanjaro, Bosutu, Monduli and Manyara for 2015, over barley farming.

Mr Mchechu reported that his company has spent over 600m/- for barley seeds already supplied to farmers freely and has set aside 5.5bn/- for its purchase for this year's season.

Mwanza Regional Commissioner (RC), Eng Evalist Ndikilo said the region is working hard to invite both foreign and local investors ready to elect plants and factories that are environmentally friendly.

He challenged farmers in Magu, Kwimba and Misungwi districts whose areas face regular drought seasons to plant barley that doesn't need much water to respond and take advantage of the available market at SBL.

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