Govt reviewing Environmental Act to overcome prolonged drought effects

The government’s decision comes after the parliament had in 2021 approved minor amendments in the National Environment Policy 2021 that involved mitigation measures of climate change effects.

Deputy Minister of State, Vice President’s Office, Union and Environment Khamis Hamza Khamis told the National Assembly yesterday that the government has reached such a decision after realising the 2021 and 2022 prolonged drought effects.

The drought had left people in many parts of the country suffering shortage of food and losing their livestock.

Khamis was responding to a question by Mohamed Soud, Donge legislator who wanted to know strategies in place by the government in establishing the Trust Fund that among other issues it will help in extending funds for climate resilience projects in communities that are mostly affected by climate change effects.

“The government recognizes the essence of having in place reliable sources of funds for addressing hazards and natural disasters related to climate change such as drought, floods and storm,” said Khamis.

In a supplementary question, Soud questioned the willingness and commitment of the government in establishing the Fund because the government had in 2014 established the Tanzania Climate Financing Mechanism which didn’t deliver to the expectation due to lack of funds allocated for its functions.

“By my account, the government should adopt recommendations from available research results which were conducted since 2014 so that the designated Trust Fund doesn’t collapse sometime in the future.” said Soud.

In his response, Khamis said that the ministry is taking into consideration all previous research results and has been taking into consideration environmental stakeholders’ opinions from the private sector in formulation of the Trust Fund.

According to him, this time around the government is keen at identifying the whole structure of the Trust Fund, its roles and economic opportunities that will come with the Fund.

He said the Fund will operate as an independent entity and apart from receiving annual budgets from the central government it will be responsible for seeking funds from global environmental agencies for climate change resilience projects.

Asha Abdallah Juma, Special Seats legislator urged the government to invest in public general knowledge on climate change issues since there are communities that need to be sensitised on regional and global climate issues.

“Communities need to be sensitised on the implications of clearing trees and farms. We must educate the people on the importance of sustaining water sources in their communities,” said Asha.

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