26 September 2018

Tanzania: Editorial - Let's Put More Effort Into Tackling Climate Change


Climate change continues to cause suffering across the globe. Too much rain causing floods, lack of rainfall leading to drought and very high or very low temperatures are some of the adverse effects of climate change.

Experts describe climate change as a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

In the past four years, Tanzania has received a total of 8.5 million euros (about Sh22 billion) from the European Union to fund climate change projects.

The Beam, a tri-annual publication on energy transition and race to zero carbon economy, provides statistics that are worrying, to say the least.

According to the publication, because of climate change, at least 21.8 million people globally are displaced; 100 million more will be forced into poverty by 2030, while around 1.6 billion will be forced to leave their homes come 2060.

The above figures show why it is important for every nation to adhere to the tenets of the Paris Agreement, including reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and striving to limit the rise in global temperatures to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius.

It also means that the funding of climate change projects is a matter of life and death. Resources must be mobilised towards this goal.

Tanzania's contribution towards mitigating climate change is by protecting its natural forests and taking the initiative to establish more forests.

River valleys, including Msimbazi in Dar es Salaam, should be protected by turning them into green zones. This will help control their courses, thus averting the tragedy of people dying during floods and houses being swept away.

Disaster preparedness must be enhanced as well.


Tricksters must be rubbing their hands in anticipation following the decision to give Sh1 million to each survivor of the MV Nyerere ferry disaster and the families of those who died.

There are 135 bereaved families and 41 survivors, which means that at least Sh176 million will be dished out in the coming weeks, but the billion-shilling question here is: will all the deserving individuals get a share of the money? Put another way, won't part of the cash end up in the pockets of fraudsters?

These are pertinent questions going by what happened in the past. A good example is the aftermath of the deadly 2009 munition explosions in Mbagala, Dar es Salaam, when millions of shillings and other donations meant for victims and survivors were stolen.

There were also reports of diversion of relief aid sent to victims of devastating floods in Kilosa District a few years ago. This happened despite the fact that many of the victims lost everything in the catastrophe.

The relevant authorities need to take the necessary precautions to ensure that only deserving people get the money following the MV Nyerere disaster. Crooks who attempt to lay their hands on the cash should be dealt with in accordance with the law.


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