Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Many Literature suggest that, top – down approach have resulted into failure of different wildlife projects, which is the approach that is adopted from the early decade where indigenous were alienated from the resources which are believed to have been supporting their livelihood in a sustainable manner such that patrols were not necessary (Lewis & Carter, 1993)

Human population growth resulted into increase in demands for sustaining man which resulted into increase in human wildlife conflicts as resulted from human social services demand, food, medicine, norms & cultural and land for cultivation and residence.

Due to increase human wildlife conflicts law enforcement have become less practical and cost full and still wildlife populations are subjected to extinction e.g. the black rhino.
For instance long before the creation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the people of the western Serengeti had established settlements and interacted with the environment in ways that created a landscape we now misconstrue as natural. Western Serengeti peoples imagine the environment not as a pristine wilderness, but as a differentiated social landscape that embodies their history and identity. Conservationist literature has ignored these now-displaced peoples and relegated them to the margins of modern society. Their oral traditions, however, provide the means for seeing the landscape from a new perspective. Moreover, this thought strengthens the case for involving local communities in conservation efforts that will preserve African environments for the future.
It is true that law enforcement have failed in resolving different human – wildlife conflicts including poaching. The use of participation of the local communities in conservation is suggested as a supplement to the short comings of ant – poaching operations. Stakeholder participation was proposed to mitigate threats facing conservation of natural resources but is also believed to have proved failure

To Date, Different community conservation projects were established in different adjacent protected areas including Tarangire National Park and others at the Arusha Anti – poaching Unit areas of operations. However, poaching is believed to have increased compared to before the establishment of Community Conservation projects. A lot of funds are directed to ant – poaching operations and community conservation but still poaching is increasing tremendously. Little is written about the ant – poaching operations and community conservation in relation to their effects in reducing poaching activities and the efforts so far made to reduce these activities comparing to the success achieved.

Wildlife Management Areas (W.M.As) are there to share knowledge with local communities over the importance of a certain resources like wildlife but the way is taken carries a certain elements of Top Down approach. For instance the eviction of local communities at Ngorongoro Conservation Area of Authority, It is true that the area is facing ecological threats caused by human being, but people causing such threats are immigrants who have little knowledge about the area. Eviction will cause hardship to their life and force them to engage in poaching which seem to increase day after day. The only solution is to sit down wherever they are evicted or not share what they have in order to only create the HEART of OWNERSHIP in a new area and WILLINGNESS.

Not only Ngorongoro but most of W.M.As established in Tanzania have proved failure due to ineffective participation of local communities living adjacent to the areas. The way is established makes people feel as new thing which want to make their life harder. This creates a sense of conflicts among them with Wildlife authorities. Effective participation of local means involve them from planning up to implementation will harness the fruits of our W.M.As for the protection of our Wildlife

Elihoise Malisa


Leaders of the world's biggest and dirtiest economies have agreed for the first time to limit the warming of the earth to a relatively safe 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) an important target in fighting climate change.
It sounds simple, but it implies a dramatic shift in the way we generate electricity, fuel our cars and build our homes and skyscrapers. It means diverting investments in new power stations from fossil fuels to wind, solar and other renewable which is a politically tricky task in the United States.
It also means wealthy countries need to raise tens of billions of dollars a year to help poor countries develop in cleaner ways than the industrial world did over the last 150 years. "It is in the tropics where the bulk of humanity lives - many of them in poverty - that climate change is hitting now and hitting hardest," suffering the Science, Climate Change, and Poverty.
Many of us take for granted that as long as we have money we can still buy food. However, the reality is much more complicated. If we were to look at the time and energy involved in producing our bowl of breakfast cereal, or worse still a chicken soup, then we’d be shocked not only by the complexity of the global food production system, but also the fragility of it.
Growing and selling food depends on a huge number of people, inputs and processes, from producers and buyers, through to infrastructure for transport, distributors and retailers. However, if you were to select the most important factors that the rest of the system depends on, they would be good land and a favourable climate. The latter is now under threat.
With an increasing world population, and rising demand for meat and dairy products (which are much more wasteful in land and other input requirements) producing enough food is already a challenge.
And to top it off we also have to deal with a rapidly changing climate. There are currently 1 billion hungry people in the world and the number is rising. The plight of these, and the millions of others who are already being hit hard by climate change, is highlighted in a new report published by Oxfam today.
But the truth is that the single most important investment society must make - right now - is to ensure a firm stance on curbing emissions. Whether it takes a million, a billion dollars, or more.
Therefore it is still a big question that will the G8 shift their pollutant industrial policies or else?

Tomas Chali


Let me take you back to see the major causes of unsustainable natural resources utilization and environmental degradation as a whole. In this context, since then, both development and poverty have been contributing to environmental degradation.

With development, people think of economic development only without looking back the cost and externalities that natural resources and environment encounters, such that at the end of the day we attain economic development living in the world of depleted natural resources and environment that threatens life on the globe. So, what is the use of this development if it ruins humankind?

With poverty, man is proving to be man’s own enemy by destroying nature and polluting the surrounding where he lives. The whole of this is done in the course of looking for livelihood sources. People cut down trees for polls, firewood, charcoal making for sale, and expansion of farms e.t.c. With poverty, people think of no alternative to meet their household requirements except from natural resources.

With environmental education, our people should be trained on how to interact sustainably with their environment, moreover there is a need to train our people on alternative ways of getting household earnings. The local communities should be guided to form small groups where different economic strategies can be easily imparted to free these people from natural resource dependency.

In groups people can be trained on how to use modern beehives that yield enough honey for business, also people should be imparted with new skills of collecting honey instead of using fires that kill the bees and worse still turns large forests to deserts.
For the livestock keepers, they can be trained and enforced to reduce their large herds of cattle and start to keep cattle depending on the carrying capacity of the area. With better handling of our livestock, we can increase both quality and quantity of beef and milk yields. This will make us increase our incomes and become less dependent to natural resources.

In groups, people can be trained to form Village Community Banks/Community Conservation Banks i. e VICOBA/COCOBA respectively. With such group savings group members are eligible to access small loans with simpler conditionals for every community to meet that will enable them to initiate small income generation activities.

With all these, it is the role of the GOs and NGOs to provide adequate knowledge to the Village environmental committees on laws and policies that govern natural resources and environment. Such communities when empowered can amicably conserve the environment.

Last but not least all together should restore back the sense of ownership of natural resource to the local communities that, they should feel that the NR in their vicinities belongs to them, thus everyone has to be a faithful custodian of it.
I know that it is difficult to attain the standards we desire, we will not succeed in one day or in one year, but what I can assure you today is that together we can make this happen.
So ladies and gentlemen, let’s opt for these bitter choices for the betterment for promising undiminished future of mankind.

Tomas Chali


The recent geological survey by Ministry of Energy and Minerals shows that Tanzania has huge reserves in eleven key minerals which include Gold, Nickel, Tanzanite, Diamonds, Copper, Iron ore, Coal ,Limestone, Soda ash, Gypsum and Phosphate. Only Gold, Diamonds and Tanzanite are being fully mined by multinational companies and shipped abroad, at the end of the day, the companies acquire 97% leaving only 3% of the profit as royalty to Tanzanians who are original owners.
Apart from leaving the inhabitants with nothing, the mining companies have become deleterious to threaten human life in Tanzania. Recently there has been devastating reported deaths and skin injuries of our fellow compatriots with their cattle and flocks leaving near North Mara Gold mines owned by Barric Tanzania. This was a result of poisonous water from the mining plant being channeled to river Tigithe. It was fortunate to me that when I heard of this havoc my friend who works in that mining plant was beside me, he was on his 28days holiday after 56working days in the plant. Therefore, It was a high time for me to know in detail on how the mining regime operates and mineral processing it performed in general, under friendship bases I was sure that he could tell me to the bottom the truth. He said that, plant workers are not allowed to get into the mines with their cell phones especially those with cameras, thus he is always offline during his 56 workdays in the mines. He went on saying that, the poison that killed people was cynide, then I surprisingly asked him, why such a poisonous and deadly element to human vicinity?I remembered ten years ago the “story of cyanide element” my chemistry teacher told us in class, that until then none knew the test of cyanide. It’s discoverer died of the poison when testing just before writing how it tests.
The friend said that, despite its deadly poisonous effect, cyanide is the best and world-class reagent used in purification of alluvial gold. It extracts about 80% of pure Gold from its alluvial ores. Then, I was eager to know about the dumping and handling of the remains after purification because I know that the residues still contain cyanide. He said that, the residues are dumped in special tile tanks excavated within the plant surrounding. He said confidently that, cyanide leakages from these tanks could be the source of poison within river Tigithe.Being familiar to the area he resumed that, the river is the source of domestic water for nearby killed and injured inhabitants with their cattle and flocks.
I am not very sure whether everyone is aware that such cattle and flocks are a source of beef to the people living in towns and cities’ including Dar-es-Salaam.Apart from that water from this river is an integral of drainage system of that area. It is connected to other rivers and Lake Victoria by either underground or upper ground flow water systems, this makes me think of the aquatic biota and its wide spread human uses.
It was unfortunate that before concluding our conversation a friend had to leave to respond an emergency call that compelled him to be somewhere he did not tell me.At this time I had many questions in my mind with none to respond to them; what does the government say? Where will this poisonous residual be taken after closure of the plant? How safe is the beef and fish we eat from such areas, is the problem local or countrywide? Of what value are these blood minerals if it makes us suffer and die?

Tomas Chali

Monday, July 27, 2009


Tanzania being among the country which inaugurate the environmental day this year has come with the world message, Planet needs you- Unite to Combat Climate change.

Before the day the minister concern the environment from the vice president office Hon. Dr. Batilda S Burian invites the journalist for the press conference where she tells the stand of the government and what will be done on the day.

During the press Hon. Dr Burian starts by giving the original of the environmental day where it begun on 1972 in the inauguration meeting of the environment which was held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tanzania has decided to go with the message to Tabora for the reason that it is among the destructed area since the indicator of the deforestation.

According to Hon. Dr Burian who presents the government that in fighting the climate change the government has given education to the citizen so as to increase the understanding on environmental conservation in implementing the program.

The vice president office is said to prepare the national program on public education with this the office is participating on environmental celebrations international and national wise.

The government through the vice president office is cooperating with the non governmental organization and the civil society organization to encourage the use of charcoal as an alternative source of energy.

Mbeya is mentioned to be among the successful area since the mineral is found for the areas like Prisons, hospitals and schools are the areas using charcoal in cooking.

Again Hon. Dr Burian says the vice president office is giving education on the climate change though various occasions, media features and different environmental occasions which occur in this world.
It is true the time the message given is right but still asked are they talking to please the people or events or they are meaning it.
Each year on first January is where people are planting trees to make mitigate the problem of climate change still we don’t see forest even those trees growing.

It can be very difficult but what we ask is that what is important and easy to make people know the politics and vote for people to eat or educate people and make the sustainable environment for our grand children.

The environmental management act of 2004 in preliminary no 2 invoke that people may formulate associations but still most of them need the power of the government since political leaders and governmental officials are the people involved in environmental degradation.

Kalisto Mfuse

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Trees in a large number can be termed as forest. The forest covers about one third of the total land. The trees can be natural or artificial. This resource is very wonderful as it provides multiple benefits to human and Environment as general.
Trees are widely appreciated for the bountiful products they produce and the beauty they contribute to our environment. Trees also provide many conservation benefits. Forest/Trees are important in Tanzania due to numerous goods and services they offer both to the National Economy and to the society. In both rural and urban areas, wood based energy consumption is estimated to account for about 92% of total energy consumed in the country. (MNRT 1998).The estimated contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1998 was 3.3% including hunting.
Out of the total energy used in Tanzania about 90% is generated from wood. Tanzania Traditional Energy and Environment Development Organization (TaTEDO) recently revealed that about 65 million m3 of wood for fuel are consumed annually. The amount of wood fuel consumed will continue to increase with the increasing population. This is causing serious over-exploitation and degradation of natural forests.
Trees are wonderful resources as roots grip and hold the topsoil, slowing runoff and leads to soil control, trees can reduce the speed water movement and reducing erosion and water pollution. Hence creates the beautiful landscape we have today, if there could be no trees the landscape could be skeleton as all soil could be taken by erosion agents. Now were using the top soil for several important uses.

Leafy tree canopies conserve moisture, slow the wind, keep the air clean, help quiet loud traffic noises, and provide shade from the hot summer sun.

Trees also create welcome home for birds and wildlife as they act as wild animal habitants and lead to the creation of several parks.

Trees and other green plants are the energy basis for all animal life to grow and function. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants convert light (solar energy) from the sun into chemical energy that is stored in the plant as carbohydrates (sugars) as it grows.

Trees produce several products like, timber which can be used for making furniture. Also trees produces building materials like poles, thatch, fencing sticks.

From forest also we get important fruits with important nutrition for our body the fruits for food and flowers for decorating our areas all this we can get from trees.

Trees regulates climate and leads to rainfall attraction as trees adds humid to the atmosphere and leads to formation of clouds, now through forest we can get rainfall for growing our crops and getting water for our uses.

From trees we also get medicinal values from roots and leaves, where these medicines can be used for treating several diseases.

Pastures are obtained for animals, gums can be collected from trees, bee wax and honey and fibbers can be collected from trees.

Trees has social significance where it creates Sites for traditional worship/believes and ceremonials, athletics beautifulness where picnic and tourism are taking place, also these are good sites for leisure.
Forest can be for commercial significance as produces timber which can be traded and we can get money, also forest may beautify landscape which will attract tourism and different species can be traded world wide.

Forest ecologically is important in the protection of water resources as it protects water catchments area not to dry up during dry season and we also get several species of animals and plants.

Trees acts as carbon sink because reduces carbon dioxide and releases oxygen; hence we can continue living as we depend getting oxygen from trees and we give up carbon dioxide which is being taken by trees, so this proves that no trees no life.

Trees must be replanted as they are used severely due to its important to almost each sector, now the great care and much effort must be applied so as to save the available trees while planting the new so as to win this war of welcoming the desert. The Problems of forest reduction is increasing daily due to population expansion and forest are cut down for settlement expansion and farm expansion also for getting building materials.

Fire problems which can be natural fire or man made fire must also be controlled as once there is an outbreak of these fire leads to disappearance of million of tree species. Therefore more care must be on avoiding the causal of the wild fire unless it caused by natural.

Tanzania is endowed with large areas of forest resources, which could contribute to the national economy if well taped. What is important is to use this resource in a sustainable manner, when using today put in mind that tomorrow is coming. Forest resource is renewable but if not used sustainably it will change into non renewable resource.

Due to its important forest resource is a crucial resource as it provides several vital needs to our life so we must join efforts to conserve this resource. The forest participatory management approach must be encouraged as the indigenous people are more familiar with their forest than any other.

Joyneth Mbogo

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Information-processing has become increasingly visible and important in economic, social, and political life. One familiar piece of evidence is the statistical growth of occupations, media, institution and organizations specializing in information activities, with advanced tools for accessing the information.
So for this reason the community is deeply eager to access the information easily since the system of accessing information is globally simplified and they are aware of that e.g. the growing application of optic fibers. But some leaders still think that most of community members are uneducated hence they can’t need to access on environment information! I am alerting that the growth of Civil Society Organizations is much active on this and there is a great change to occur because most development goals are set for the human and his/her environment.
Being sincerely on this, there are still some barriers to environmental information thus result to unfair use of natural resources, poor accountability and a secrecy-poor running of Natural Resource Management. Especially by leadership and some Acts of the parliament e.g. Newspaper Act No. 3 of 1976 about having and spreading information made “secret” by the Government or some Authority. And at the same time the constitution of Tanzania promotes right to find, receive and to give information without any restriction.
Let there be transparency, togetherness for a vision of mass development in a safe sphere. Since we all need to protect, get to know anything about environment and still benefit it sustainably.

David Sylveste,


There have been many meetings, conferences, workshops and mass gathering focusing growth and reduction of poverty in Tanzania, through different strategies, commitment and resources from domestic stakeholders and development partners in the medium term. But the issue of required or expected to justify actions or decisions (accountability) is still something to work on before even those gathering or meetings, because people are poor but pretend to be fine, when we talk about Tanzania is among the poorest countries globally people agree but the one who refuses is the one who has either seen how rich the country is. Ranked as the 5th top tourism income earner in Africa with annual receipts of US$739 million (World Tourism Organization, 2001) but then with no distribution of this information to local level even to the representatives who attend the meetings its like nothing going on in Tanzania’s Development! That’s why they end up in accepting everything talked … I totally disagree about Tanzania been poor but it’s the Tanzanian’s representatives being poor on Management and Accountability in the strategies for growth and reduction of poverty that are claimed.
Taking an idea of some representatives whom we choose to own authority for a period of time, and help the community in developmental issues, sleeping in the parliament! meetings, conferences Its totally enough to show poor accountability…dear reader if you need to prove this just go or watch carefully the parliament in your nearest broadcasting TV or attend meetings and see for your self, people are tired in the morning sleeping, while they gain a lot of money just for making them strong, brainstorm and ready to represent us. I have broken the silence and my heart is open and my eyes are ready to see the change … Having Tanzanite, Kilimanjaro, Lake Victoria, Serengeti, Lake Tanganyika, Bagamoyo and green land that is represented by our flag who mean we are poor? Not yet poor its just management and accountability

David Sylvester,


Management and conservation of wildlife under local governments (district level) is questionable due to lack of gears to manage them in the authority they follow.
According to Tanzanian Wildlife Conservation Act, there are four agencies that are entrusted to manage wildlife in the country. These are Wildlife division that manage wildlife in Game Reserves, Tanzania National Park managing wildlife in National parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority that manage wildlife in Ngorongoro Conservation Area as well as Local Government Authorities that manages wildlife in Open Areas as well as in Game Controlled Areas.
The above three agencies are well equipped in term of human resources, vehicles as well as weapons to protect and manage the wildlife. This is not the case once it comes to local government authority whereby it is a tradition to find district with wildlife to manage but without enough human resources and other protective gears to be used to management purposes.
A good example is in Mkinga District in Tanga region whereby like other district in the country Mkinga manages Umba Game Controlled Area, the game area bordering Kenya. The district has two game officers who have been recently employed to exercise their duties. They are actually working in easier said than done environment as they do not have any game scouts nor any weapon or vehicles to manage wildlife they are entitled to.
This has resulted in number of human wildlife conflicts between the communities living adjacent to the Umba Game Controlled area and animals especially elephants. Elephants once invade the farms they usually raid crops to large extent as no one is chasing them away. The wildlife officers try in their level best to chase them but since they do not have any weapon nor game scouts their effort is always unfruitful.
As we are now in the hunting term, many hunters are now operating in Umba Game Controlled Area, but with no one to escort them. It has been a traditional in this Game Controlled Area where hunters hunt beyond their hunting quotas, hunting without following the principle of sustainable hunting as well as using weapon not recommended so as to easy hunt and catch the animals they want just because no one is there watching what they are doing. I think it won’t be wrong if at all we refer it as a legally poaching activity? It is a legally poaching because the way how is being conducted signifies it legality and its illegality at the same time.
As the new Wildlife Act number 5 of 2009 is in its implementation process, I argue to the government to find a way of incorporating this problem facing wildlife under local government authority so that they can be protected as those in other wildlife management agencies. Let the governments equip the local government authority in term of human resources as well as other resources including vehicles and weapons to better manage the wildlife they are supposed to manage for the national interest and not otherwise.

william nambiza,


Environment is a very important part of human life
Concerning the surrounding including living and non living organisims. The social- economic part of human being depends on environment, for example industries, business, agriculture etc

The environment in a good shape contributes in accomplishing the developmental activities. Also basic human needs like food, clothing and shelter come from the environment, for example raw materials used in making different kind of clothes, the food we eat and the materials used for building house such as timber and thatched grasses for roofs.

Protecting the environment is not something which can be done by one person and that’s why Nations, Governments, institutions and even NGOs’ have been cooperating with great determination in protecting the environment.

Tanzania is one of the Sub-Sahara coutries leading environmental preservation efforts. In fulfilling this effort it has been penning down different contracts in order to get aid from different countries and ratifying International Convetions on Environmental Management such as United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ramsar Convention and many other of environmental concern.

TaTEDO is among these NGOs’, which apart from conserving the environment; this Institution has also involved itself in achieving the modern sustainable energy initiatives together with reducing poverty especially in urban and rural areas. TaTEDO has been working closely with local communities in their areas in ensuring that they access modern energy technologies in improving their lives.

The use of traditional sources of energy within the city of Dar es salaam has been rising daily for many years now. This is due huge number of people using charcoal for cooking. Over 80 percent of the population in Dar es salaam use charcoal and firewood as a major fuel for cooking, this is due to increase in cost for alternative sources of energy like gas and electricity causing many Tanzanian resulting to most of them using biofuels eg charcoal and firewood.

As the population increases so is the use of fuel due to increase in demand. Almost 90 percent of charcoal used in Dar es Salaam is produced from forests within villages, districts and regions surrounding the city of Dar es salaam such as Lindi, Mtwara and Pwani.

Pugu forest is a good example of one such forest located in Kisarawe district, it is in danger of extinction because of excessive deforestation activities and burning of charcoal caused by increased demand of charcoal within Dar es salaam city.This Government owned forest has been invaded by people from different Regions with the purpose of burning the charcoal and cutting down trees with no consideration that the forast is supposed to be preserved.

Due to this problem the Institution for developing sustainable energy and conserving the environment (TaTEDO) in collaboration with two specialists from department of statistics, did a research on artisans who make improved stoves in Dar es Salaam.

The main aim of this research was to assess the number of artsans/improved stove producers, also to know their environment and the size of their projects.
This empowerment involves education on how to make these cookers by using modern and sustainable technology which does not have effect to our environment.

This cooker as it is known to many as quality/efficient charcoal stove was given the name because of its nature of using minimal amount of charcoal, is made by using modern and sustainable technology. It is more liked because of its efficiency incookin while conserving heat energy than traditional aluminium made charcoal stoves. It uses small amount of charcoal hence reduces cost, its raw materials are locally availabe and the cooker is durable because is made using modern technology.

Good example is a cooker called ‘Sazawa’ made by Institution for developing sustainable energy and conserving the environment (TaTEDO). This cooker is made by corrugated iron sheet, iron and two bars made by clay and together with a mixture of cement and dust of remains of paddy.

The stove is proved to be more than 70% effficient than the normal traditional charcoal stove hence reduce difforestation and emission of carbon to air.

TaTEDO has also been making efficient firewood cookers which uses less firewood in cooking large amount of food quicker, hence serves the environment from large damage.

The research done by TaTEDO through its depertment of Sustainable Bio-energy in Dar es salaam city April of 2009 at Temeke, Kinondoni and Ilala Districts, showed that, the field of improved stove has been growing fast in recent years. This has been proven by small industries, groups and individuals involved in making improved cooking stoves and sell them to earn some cash.

Big industries like Kasana-Temeke and Vingunguti-Kinondoni which have been runing for years did show an increase in production because of market growth.
This production has increase by a big percent and they have been selling their cookers in Dar es salaam, upcountry and even export to neighbouring countries like Mozambique.

Despite massive production of the cookers, still the
Users have been few because of failure to buy them due to high price which ranges between Tsh. 1800 - 2500 for which an average Tanzanian living under $ 1 a day can not afford to buy.

Difficult economic situation is the major source leading to environmental degradation in
our country and other developing countries where by demand for energy is inevitable.

The artisans have been working in difficult situation leading to their work being hard, production being low causing poor availability of their goods.

Every Tanzanian using charcoal as fuel , will greatly reduce the use of charcoal and hence reduce the effects of charcoal production to our forests while serving the income of Tanzanian if they have access to the improved charcoal stove. For example a family which uses one sac of charcoal for two weeks (i.e 14 days) for cooking in a traditioal corrugated iron cookers may use the same sac for one month (i.e 30 days) andin so doing they would have saved the use of charcoal and even the cost saved out of this use would have been used to improve the quality of Tanzanians most of whom are poor.

Inorder to serve our environment from production of charcoal, the Goverment, Institutions, NGOs’ should educate people on better ways of burning charcoal inorder to preserve our enviroment .
This empowerment may be :
• Educational; which may enable the use of modern and cheap technology.
• Financially; which may enable expansion of their projects to increase production and hence simplify the availability of their goods.
• Provide special areas for their wok and hence reduce their migration from one place to another which in turn will increase efficiency.
• Business; many craftsmen do not have enough knowledge about business. Its better different institutions help in providing business education so that they can run profitable business.

Many craftsmen who makes quality cookers, if valued and given priority they will for sure contribute greatly in preserving our environment.

The Environment is life, hence it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect and utilize it sustainably.

victoria maeda,

Monday, July 20, 2009


It is agreeable by every one of us that information is power yet existing systems of governance favor administrative secrecy thereby monopolizing the right to information in the hands of private stakeholders, environmental issues being among.

In Tanzania the right to give and receive information is openly given in the constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977.

 Article 18(1) of the constitution stipulates that subject to the laws of the land every person is entitled to freedom of opinion and expression, that is to say the right to freely hold and express opinions and seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Freedom from interference with correspondence is guaranteed.
 Article 27 (1) highlights the importance of sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of the citizens of Tanzania by providing that every person is obliged to safeguard and protect the natural resources of the United Republic, state property and all property jointly owned by the people, as well as to respect another person’ property.

Not only the articles above but also there are environmental policies such as those of forestry, wildlife to mention but a few shows how committed the government is as far as environmental issues in the country are concerned. However there are numerous data which have been researched and others are predicted, climate change issues is a good example but not given to the target. So far the larger population is not aware and does not know where and how to acquire these environmental information.

It is high time now to disclose what is hidden and encourage further critical investigations, amend remnants of acts and provisions which in one way or another do not provide a room for citizens up to the grassroots to share their views and question environmental information, TOGETHER WE CAN.

Failure to acquire environmental information from either public authorities or private sectors is deny to human rights, how should we distinguish it from other injustice? If we really look forward environmental accountability, easy and free access to environmental information is a pillar. The wise says, "If you are not part if the solution, you are part of the problem".



The launching of community libraries in villages will be of assistance to people living in remote areas to get an access to environmental information to be aware of protecting and managing their environment. This will get to the bottom of the current situation where the grassroots communities living in remote areas are not well informed about the environment due to be deficient in of environmental information in their localities. It will go hand in hand with the implementation of the National Constitution that address the right of people being informed about weather conditions, safety and quality of water, chemicals and their uses and their effects to people’s health and the environment, right to be informed about development plans that might have adverse impact to environment.
Findings of different research reveals that Policies, Laws, Regulations and different Magazines and Leaflets about not only environment but also other information are found in District Offices, Ward Offices and rarely in Villages Offices especially those in remote areas. And if found in Villages Offices they might be the villages that in one way or another had a project running in the them whereby villages that have never received any project is difficulty to find this kind of information.
The situation has impaired many grassroots communities to abide on the laid down procedures and regulations of protecting environment and management of Natural Resources and even to deal with those who destroy the environment as they have no information on the does and the don’ts. A good example is Segoma Village in Mkinga District where the village government unknowingly sold a part of Segoma Forest Reserve buffer zone to an investor who cleared the bought buffer zone with an aim of opening maize farm that is contrary to Forest Act of 2002. According to this Act it should be left an area of 60 to 100 meters as buffer zone from the forest for conservation purposes. It was however noted that the village government had no information about the area to be left as a buffer zone due to lack of the Forest Act. As it is stipulated in the Laws that an ignorance of the Law is not an excuse to an offence, those who were involved in this scandal have been held responsible of the offence.
Among the important issues that are emphasized in Environment Management Act of 2004 are the people to be informed about different environmental information, the right to be involved in decision making in environmental issues and the right to take someone before the court of law who takes any undertaking that destruct or indicates environment destruction. This information for so long have not been getting the target group especially the grassroots communities in remote areas due to poor means of delivering it to this part of the group.
By using community libraries policies, laws and different regulations and other environmental information will be admitted easily by people in remote areas for them to take action. The availability will smooth the progress of the community to know their rights in environment management and their responsibilities to protect environment and manage natural resources. It will also persuade the habit of reading to this part of the group as currently there are claims that most Tanzanians have no reading habit the notion that I practically disagree with it. People need to read but they have nothing to read in place, but if given they are ready to read.
I advice the government to incorporate community libraries in its local government reform as it give the impression among the ways that the community gets information easier. So as to easy this, it is the responsibility of the non governmental organization dealing with environmental conservation in grassroots communities to start launching community libraries in their working areas to widen the chance of the community being informed about environmental issues.

William Nambiza;

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Forests and woodlands cover around 40% of the total land area, yet support the livelihoods of 87% of poor population who live in rural areas. Over 90% of the energy used in the country is wood fuel derived from the forests.

High rural and urban demand for forest product due to population growth result into increases rate of harvesting trees in forest and woodland area.
The utilization of forest product in most area is conducted unsustainable and this may result to deforestation or soil erosion to respective areas. Several measures should be taken to ensure that these resources are utilized sustainable.

Government, Non-Governmental Organizations(NGOs), and other stakeholder should take action to this to ensure that our forest resources are utilized sustainable by provide education and training to local communities on the effects of unsustainable utilization of forest product and what method should be taken to ensure that this resource is utilized sustainable such as use of improved firewood saving stoves in rural areas, which will reduce the workload to women and children and conserve forest resources by reducing frequencies of encroaching forest firewood collection. Also people can be trained to use other source of energy such as Biogas and Solar energy for cooking and lighting which are cheap and environmental friend.

Most of Tanzania population depends on forest product so it is responsibility of you and me to ensure that forest resources are utilized sustainable for the benefit of the present and future generation.

Heri jackson


It is so amazing to see natural resources are in danger situation while we have our local authorities that should insure natural resources are properly managed. Provided the fact that every citizen has the duty to protect natural resources as our Constitution provide as well under Article 27 (1). But the majority is not aware on laws; hence the Local Authorities has the duty to insure people at grassroots understand equitable use of natural resources.

It has been observed that the deterioration of Biodiversity in Morogoro District is due to inadequate awareness to individuals on how they should play their part to protect natural resources.
One citizen said “we always see forest products carried into Lories, but we don’t know whether they have been obtained legally or illegally. He went on saying “we are not aware on procedures to be followed on harvesting timber products”.

According to observation done by Union of Non-Governmental Organisations (UNGO) in Morogoro shows that there is inadequate participation of member communities to sustainable use of natural resources in Morogoro district. This amount to brutal demolishing of natural resources especially forest.

Since we have laws, policies and procedures that can be used to manage our resources, why don’t we implement them effectively by involving every individual to play it part?
The research made on loose of biodiversity in morogoro district shows that individuals are not aware on these laws, policies and procedures on sustainable use of natural resources so as maintain our biodiversity.

It is a time that our local authorities should insure there is high participation of individuals at grassroots whom most are surrounded with biodiversity. This can be done through information sharing like translating laws, policies and procedures in a simple language then disseminate to them. Also conducting meetings to address environmental issues and trainings. All these will create awareness to every individual on conserving our biodiversity.

Angelus Runji


A study conducted in Kilimanjaro reported that deforestation in the foothills of Kilimanjaro has steadily diminished cloud and mist cover on the mountain, which in turn has tended reduced general humidity, directly affecting the health of the glaciers. Evidently the mountain deserve particular attention; the glacier is projected to disappear by 2015-2020 following intensive climate catastrophes which are in large part because of human activities, indeed if greenhouse gas emissions, the leading cause of climate change continues the global temperature will increase to 5.8˚C by the end of the 21st century.

There are environmental problems identified so far like land degradation, inadequate water supply, pollution, habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity, deterioration of aquatic systems deforestation and frequent forest fire.
The global warming associated with green house gas emission coupled with the later environmental problems yield effects including; reduced rainfall which compromise water flows leading to water scarcity for agriculture, biodiversity survivor and energy production. The other effect is temperature elevation which disrupts the ecological balance for example it favors malaria vector survival associated with malaria epidemics in Kilimanjaro, a new phenomenon in the region but again endanger other temperature sensitive species.

Climate change is now a global issue posing challenges to the very survival of mankind and sustainable development. It is a systematic change in the key dimensions of climate. Climate change is real and is happening, beyond the traditionally held categorization of climate change problems as environmental issue, it is clearly a development issue with a direct impact on poverty reduction strategies, food security, economic growth, health, human rights, governance and equity.

Thus from the ecological perspective the residents in the region are trying to defend their survivor cheaply through encroachment of the park, illegal logging, opting for unsustainable conventional or traditional shifting agriculture, wildfire for charcoal and honey collection, surprisingly its said, there are those who burn so as in turn get employed in breaking off the fire due to life hardship. All of these form a viscous cycle of destruction to natural resources.

Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest one in Africa with an altitude of 5895m above sea level is found in the Northern Tanzania and it’s among the potential National Park in contributing to the national economy. The park was designated as the World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987.

Beatrice Benjamin


Environmental Civil Societies organizations of Tanzania have formed a coalition to address accountability in natural resource management.
Speaking to the opening of the meeting that was held at WWF TPO on 08th June 2009, Mr. Molten Erickson the CSO Programme Technical Advisor said that there is a need of this coalition to address misuses of natural resource in Tanzania as togetherness brings more impact than working in separate.

He said Tanzania has been loosing economically and environmentally due to lack of accountability, corrupt and criminal practices in natural resource managements as different report signifies. He cited a report “Does Aid Work”, a report that indicates that more than 50 percent of the Norwegian funding to Natural Resource Management in the period of 1994 to 2006 must have been misused (USD 30 millions out of USD 60 millions). On the other hand a report on illegal logging in the Southern Tanzania by Traffic /Milledge 2007 also address Tanzania annually loosing USD 52millions as the result of leakage in payment of royalties and taxes of forest that were harvested. Moreover more revenue is lost to wildlife hunting fees whereby hunting blocks that are sold at USD 8,000 that can easily be sold at USD 40,000.

The coalition meeting was attended by Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF), Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), Policy Forum, Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT), Concern Worldwide and Legal and Human Right Center (LHRC). The coalition will be open, informal and inclusive body for all organization, bodies and individual that will support the declaration and contribute to overall vision and goals of the coalition.

The coalition will target to address the accountability campaign in natural resource management in the coming National Local Election and in the National Election in 2010.The coalition will be funded by Royal Norwegian Embassy through the Programme to Strengthen Civil Environment Society Organizations of Tanzania. Currently there is TSh 50 to 60 millions to support the campaign. The coalition will be working to do the following activities.
• Develop a declaration against corruption that all participating organization will support and seek broad support among Tanzanian organization.
• Develop a communication strategy with value and guidelines for how the coalition will communicate and raise issues.
• Have one annual public event highlighting the values of natural resource and the destruction by corrupt management.
• Address corruption issues related to natural resource management in general and in the subsector through the year and information and documentation is revealed.
• Consider establishing a central information hub where public and organization can inform anonymously about corruption and use this information to challenge the responsible authority.
• Challenge donors to do corruption on their support to the management of natural resource and make finding public.

It was agreed upon that to start with , the coalition will support the already existing initiative that address accountability in the natural resource management like “Mama Misitu” of TNRF and other initiatives in the participating organization. On the other hand six CSO volunteered to draft the coalition document and the way how it will be structured. The CSOs that volunteered were LEAT, Concern Worldwide, Policy Forum, LHRC as well as WWF TPO. The next meeting will be held on 17th of September 2009.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

G8: Africa Must Rethink Development Model

Extract from article commenting on the recent G8 meeting.

Development is the Ability to interpret/understand the World and creatively/efficiently respond to the challenges that confront humanity in order to increase the levels of human comfort on earth. The current development model sustains Africans on the "scratch the soil" level while they (G8 and re/emerging economies) import raw materials and add value to them. Adding value to African raw materials enables importing countries to grow their industries, financial and knowledge sectors while the African is left with hoe in hand scratching the soils for minerals and crop. Please note that even chicken in Western Kenya scratch the soil. Little ingenuity is needed in the scratch the soil model!

Africa should not wait for the G8 group; they should open up their countries to free movement of people on the continent. Movement coupled with legal safeguards to promote individuals keen to be original, imaginative, inspired, ingenious and innovative enough to put their dreams in practice will spur a wave of real development. The G8 is only keen to throw money at our challenges, but that will not help change our century old attitude of applying "monkey see - monkey do economics." As my village illustrates, Africa indeed needs infrastructure, but focus too must be on developing the people - and this is not synonymous to access to Western education.

Development is not highways and skyscrapers. Development is about people (and not G8 on Africa's behalf) creatively responding to nature in order to enhance their levels of living comfort on earth.

I look forward to adding Zambia to my ongoing intra Africa exchange program currently targeting Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe!

By James Shikwati

For full article, see:

James Shikwati is Director, Inter Region Economic Network