Govt launches action plan in effort to reduce environmental pollution

23Jul 2019
Polycarp Machira
DODOMA
The Guardian
Govt launches action plan in effort to reduce environmental pollution

THE government has launched the Health and Pollution Action Plan (HPAP) in effort to help reduce environmental pollution and give a push in the right direction.

Stephen Kargbo.

HPAP together with its five projects proposals focus on air quality management in urban cities and municipalities, Wami-Ruvu water quality improvement by enhancing resource productivity of industries and strengthening water quality monitoring networks.

It also aimed at reducing exposure to toxics in small scale mining, reducing indoor air pollution due to domestic cooking and sound management of pesticides to protect health of people while improving crop yields.

The process focused on five pollution risk factors with known health impacts. They include indoor pollution, outdoor air pollution, contamination of water, soil pollution from heavy metals and toxic chemicals as well as occupational exposure to pollutants.

The plan was facilitated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Cleaner Production Centre of Tanzania (CPCT) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) with funding from the European Union (EU) and the United States Agency International Development (USAID) was launched here on Friday.

“This is the start of the process, a rallying point for domestic stakeholder and development partners to address the health impacts of environmental pollution by pooling their knowledge and experience” said Deputy Director of UNIDO’s Environment Department, Nilguen Tas.

On his part the UNIDO Representative to Tanzania, Mauritius and EAC, Stephen Kargbo, noted that HPAP results from a series of stakeholder engagements, which included the identification and prioritization of Tanzanian pollution issues as well as the preparation of project proposals to address the critical issues.

Officiating at the launch, the Director of Environment at the ministry of State in the Vice President Office-Environment, Prof William Mwegoha, noted that environmental pollution impacts the health of people and is a burden on the economy in terms of productivity losses and healthcare costs.

“HPAP will strengthen our efforts to reduce environmental pollution and give them a push in the right direction” he added.

He observed that the plan complements the 2013 Joint Plan of Action for the implementation of the Libreville Declaration and has motivated health and environment institutions to work together on the most pressing health and pollution challenges.

The HPAP process was led by the Vice President’s Office-Division of Environment (VPO-DoE) in collaboration with the ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC).