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".


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