10 March 2018

Tanzania: Twiga Cement Given Two Months to Control Pollution

THE Dar es Salaam based Twiga Cement Factory has been given a two month ultimatum to control dust pollution or face ban.

Giving the order in Dar es Salaam recently, the Deputy Minister in the Vice- President's Office (Union and Environment), Mr Kangi Lugola said dust from the factory has brought health concerns to the people living in its neighborhood.

Mr Lugola who was accompanied by officials from the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) for the tour of the factory, said the tour was amid alarm raised by residents of the area over too much dust during production.

"I have listened to both sides, and I am convinced that the dust problem is real, I am, therefore, giving a two months ultimatum for the problem to be solved, or else I will close down the factory until the matter is solved," he said.

"I want NEMC experts to make a close follow-up, to measure and see whether the dust is reduced to accepted levels. You (NEMC) should not wait to be given a report by the owners of the factory and instead you should depend on your own tests," he added.

In another development, Mr Lugola ordered environment officers in Wazo area where the factory is located to improve hygiene in the area where small traders are doing their businesses located near the factory and affected by its activities.

The Executive Director of Twiga Cement, Mr Alfonso Velez said the factory will work on the directives by the minister, but added that they were already doing their best in preserving the environment.

However, one of the representatives of the residents, Mr John Mwakipesile said the factory management had from time to time refused to heed people's complaints over the factory's pollution.

"We have worked in collaboration with several former managements of this factory in addressing the matter in question, but the current management is not cooperative at all, we call for measures by the government in ensuring that justice is done," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Lugola has given a one month ultimatum to the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) to control factories' water pollution. "People are complaining with no answers from industry owners, the government has heard their voices and I am therefore giving EPZA a one month ultimatum to end the environmental pollution," he said.

Accompanied by National Environment Management Council (NEMC) officials in a one day tour of the EPZA area in Ubungo, Dar es Salaam, Mr Lugola witnessed environmental pollution in the area which forced him to issue the ultimatum.


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