Monday, July 20, 2009


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;

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