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Govt blamed for failing to contain deforestation

30th January 2012
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Members of Parliament have blamed the government for failing to come up with a strategy that will enable people to utilise alternative sources of energy to protect forests.

This was said in Bagamoyo on Sunday by Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) Special Seats MP Suzan Lyimo during a climate change workshop, which drew participants from the parliamentary committees for Land, Natural Resources and Environment and Finance.

The workshop was organised by Institute of Resources Assessment (IRA) in collaborated with Vice President’s Office (Environment).

Contributing to the workshop, Lyimo blamed the government for failing to take action against illegal loggers.

She said the government had increased power tariffs instead of thinking about alternative ways of reducing the price of natural gas found in the country to enable the majority of people to use it instead of preaching about climate change, which most of people were not aware of.

“People will continue using firewood for cooking because they can’t afford using gas. Our government should learn from Kenya, where even villagers use gas,” she said.

She noted that the effects of climate change were big for this country as people continued cutting trees and destroying forests.

Lyimo said further that the country was likely to lose the income from Mount Kilimanjaro due to the climate change impact as the snow continued disappearing year after year.

For her part, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Special Seats MP Devota Likokola said to mitigate climate change effects would not be successful unless the government provided funds for environmental conservation projects.

She said the government made big mistakes by allowing climate change projects to be under development partners, saying they might not be sustainable.

“We like our development partners but their projects are for a certain period of time only. If these projects were funded by the government, I am sure no person will misuse the money,” she noted.  

Either said the government should cut 40 per cent from the power energy budget and direct it to the alternative energy budget for those living in rural areas, where electricity supply was still a problem.

Land, Natural Resources and Environment committee chairman James Lembeli thanked the MPs for attending the workshop, which would help them explain the effect of climate change to others.

He also urged organizers to arrange another training workshop that would involve all MPs to understand well climate change issues.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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