‘Environment precautions taken in EACOP project’

24Sep 2022
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
‘Environment precautions taken in EACOP project’
  • Premier Majaliwa says houses being built for those earmarked for relocation

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has assured stakeholders that precautions have been taken to protect the environment in the construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

Talking up the dispute raised by the European Union Parliament’s negative vote on the project when winding up the latest meeting of the National Assembly yesterday, he said that some development partners had concerns over environment issues in the construction of the pipeline.

“Let assure them that assessments have been done to ensure the project was environmentally friendly,” he said, highlighting that the project in Tanzania affects the lives of 9,513 people and a number of organisations, while 331 housing units will be moved.

Compensation for houses for those being moved was underway, with 37 houses out of the 309 being relocated have been completed, he stated.

“Let me assure development partners including the European Parliament that the project is being implemented in line with applicable Tanzanian laws and valid precautions on the environment and ecological conservation,” he said.`

He had earlier listed auxiliary strategies to contain road accidents and a wave of crimes committed by gangs of youths terrorizing people in the streets.

Tabling a motion to wind up the eighth meeting of the 12th National Assembly here yesterday, he said security agencies were on alert to combat the incidents and protect people and their properties.

The government was working with specific interest groups including religious leaders to speak against, expose and control occurrences which put at risk public welfare, he said.

Motorists need to recognize the responsibility they have of protecting the lives of their passengers and other road users in order to avoid repeated accidents, he stated.

“Let me call upon the police to ensure it follows up on better road use to control accidents, with cooperation from the general public,” he said, pointing at the need for public awareness campaigns exposing juvenile criminal gangs.

The police strengthen surveillance to contain road accidents and check crime, with collaboration from local government authorities to promote good governance.

Public meetings at local level need to be convened so that the public can air their views on safety and security of their neighbourhoods, as this should be the most important issue to be taken up in public meetings, he urged.

The country obtained 17.4m tons of food crops in the 2021/22 harvest season where 9.4m tons were cereals and 7.9m tons were legumes, he said, elaborating that demand for cereal and non-cereal foods for 2022/23 is upwards of 15m tons, with 9.5m tons cereals and 5.5m tons non-cereals.

Put together, the country has enough food equivalent at 115per cent of need by volume, implying a food surplus of 2.3m tons, with the government taking various initiatives to ensure the country was food secure.

This includes enabling the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to store 147,142 tons of food crops while purchasing more food for reserve provisions, he stated.

He urged people to prudently use food for their upkeep in case there are drought conditions and sparse rainfall patterns in the coming season.

The government has set aside 150bn/- to subsidise fertiliser to cushion farmers from higher prices fueled by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, he told MPs.

Preparations for the 2022/23 season were underway with the government working to facilitate farmers with inputs to increase production while the use of fertilizer for the 2021/22 farming season stood at 49.6percent of the average fertilizer use among farmers as a whole, he added.