Dar es Salaam — The government needs at least Sh200 million to facilitate teams tasked with combating invasive species in the country.
Invasive species are organisms that are not native to a specific location (an introduced species) and that have a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or health.
So far at least Sh120 million has been collected for the purpose, according to minister of State in the Vice President's Office, Union Matters and Environment, Mr January Makamba, when he spoke to The Citizen via telephone on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.
According to him, Sh60 million out of the collected funds was contributed by conservation non-governmental organisation, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the remaining funds were allocated by the government.
Mr Makamba made the remarks a few days after the government inaugurated the National Task Force to prepare national a strategic plan, among others, to combat invasive species in the country.
"Previously, we drafted a Sh85 million budget for the assignment before the launch of the task force, but later after the inauguration, the team held its internal meeting and proposed an increase in the budget up to Sh200 million due to the complexity of the assignment," he said.
He added: "So we have a shortage of Sh80 million, but we are still negotiating with the task force, to see if we really need to find more funds or we can simply reduce the budget and utilize the collected resources," he said.
The newly launched task force consists of environmental experts, mainly ecologists and conservationists from relevant ministries of Agriculture, Natural Resources, among others, and state-run- higher learning institutions.
The task force has been given a two-month ultimatum to undertake the assignment. The exercise would be carried out across all the regions in the country, according to Mr Makamba.