19 April 2017

Tanzania: Govt to Study Drying of Rivers and Lakes

Photo: Egui/Flickr
Lake Tanganyika/Nyasa.

Dodoma — Experts will soon be deployed to conduct an in-depth evaluation to determine the main reason for the drying up of most of the country's rivers and lakes.

This was revealed here yesterday by the Deputy Minister, Vice-President's Office (Union Affairs and Environment), Luhaga Mpina was responding to legislator Zacharia Isaay (Mbulu Urban - CCM) who wanted to know the government's strategy to safeguard rivers that were drying up due to human activities.

Legislator Isaay said small rivers such as Tlawi in Mbulu, Babati and Manyara were drying up due to increased human activities while local councils have no capacity to address the issue, "doesn't the government see the importance of saving these rivers?

" Responding, deputy minister Mpina said the government will conduct an in-depth assessment to determine the degree of the problem and take extra measures to safeguard Tlawi, Babati and Manyara lakes.

"We have noticed that a lot of our rivers, lakes and dams are drying up, so the keepers of the environment in the country, we have decided... and you will see this in the coming budget, how we are working to restore water sources. So competent experts from all the sectors will be deployed and provide recommendation that will enable us to come up with a strategy to address the issue," he explained.

He noted that in 2008 the government prepared a national plan to conserve the ocean environment along coastal area, lakes, rivers and dams which among others directs relevant authorities to take steps to curb human activities in the shores of lakes, rivers and dams to ensure the sources of water do not dry up.

"In a move to safeguard Tlawi River in Mbulu District the government has taken several steps including DADPs setting aside 100m/- in the 2016/17 fiscal year to remove water hyacinth," he explained.

Deputy minister Mpina added that in the 2017/18 fiscal year Mbulu District Council plans to set aside 15.7m/- that will go into rescuing lake Tlawi including demarcating the lakes' banks to keep people away from evading and cultivating along the lake's banks.

"The public will also be educated on proper ways to conserve the environment and encouraged to cultivate in the higher areas surrounding the lake.

The environment committee and community policing of the lake at the Ward, Village and Street level will be improved," he explained.

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