The government and the European Commission have signed a financing agreement under which the former will receive euro 41.1 million (Sh 84.3billion) to be spent in four different areas.
Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Dr William Mgimwa said euro 15 million would be allocated to agriculture and commercial use, euro 10 million to environment, euro 10 million to cultural helitage and euro 6.6 million to the resettlement of 2009 floods victims in Kilosa district, Morogoro region.
The contract, which was inked at the Ministry of Finance headquarters in Dar es Salaam, was signed by Finance Minister Dr. William Mgimwa whereas Ambassador Filberto Sebregondi, head of the European Delegation, represented the EU.
“Despite government’s efforts towards decentralization of natural resources management, the impact of legislation on people’s livelihood has been so far limited. This can be explained by the fact that implementation and enforcement of the policies, Acts and regulations is complex, lengthy and resource intensive,” noted the minister.
Ambassador Sebregondi told the gathering that he was pleased that the agreement was signed, adding that he was sure the funds would be used for the intended purpose.
Minister Mgimwa expressed optimism that the money from European Commission would be directed to the field of sustainable environmental management where non-state actors could formulate projects to enable communities manage natural resources with the ultimate goal of generating income and poverty reduction, adding that it would play a great role in empowering people at the grassroots to ensure resource ownership.
On the area of support to cultural interventions where the European Commission has committed euro 10 million, Dr Mgimwa said the objective was to fully exploit the potential of the cultural sector and promote cultural diversity and to develop the potential contribution of cultural heritage. He said the intervention would result in the strengthening of cultural tourism attractions.
With regard to the resettlement of Kilosa floods victims the agreement shows that the funds would be directed to key areas such as enable the displaced people to move to new and safer settlement sites; provide them with access to basic social services and improve their access to centres of their economic and social activities.
“This came as a response of the European Commission following Tanzania government’s request” noted the minister.
The funds would also be dedicated to the construction of one school for each new settelement, construction of two health facilities, construction of a water supply system; supply of electricity to the new settlement areas, and the rehabilitation of 30 kilometres of regional roads as well as construction of 12 kilomtres of feeder roads in the new settlement and the rehabilitation of 20 kilometres of existing feeder roads in Kilosa town.
The final area of the agreement, which will consume euro 15 million, is phase II of the agriculture programme that will be implemented with the aim to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes through better access to markets.