Minister promises to sustain visits to industries to save environment

15Jan 2020
The Guardian
Minister promises to sustain visits to industries to save environment

IMPROMPTU visits to establishments, especially industries, will be a permanent feature on the calendar of activities of the environment ministry to ensure all establishments adhere to the Environment Management Act 2004 and its Regulations, Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office-

George Simbachawene

-(Union and Environment) George Simbachawene, promised here.

Speaking at the premises of Kisemvule-based Fujian Hexingwang metal industries, Mkurunga district,   Simbachawene said surprise visits to industries will be sustained because, he said, experience showed that some industry owners established industries without exhausting the environment impact assessment procedure and those who met conditions were currently violating the law. He thanked investors respecting the law, but said discrepancies would not go unpunished.

“I promise to sustain surprise visits countrywide for a simple clear reason: to ensure industries that are established do not harm environment or inconvenience host communities. We welcome and encourage establishment of new industries because that is our national goal. However, establishment of industries must be in line with EMA 2004 and its Regulations,” the minster emphasised.

The minister visited the Fujian industry without notice following complaints of the people in the area that owners of the plant were not complying with the law.  At the end of his visit, the minister slapped a one-month ban on production until owners meet all environment protection details to the satisfaction of the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC). NEMC is Tanzania’s environment protection watchdog.

He said the ministry and NEMC will keep a watch on all establishments and violators of the law would be punished, he warned, explaining that the most recurrent violations include poor physical infrastructure/ air pollution  and releasing untreated waste into environment.

Mr Simbachawene said the government was serious about having new industries and improving existing ones but emphasised that industries would not be started or run at the cost of environment or to the detriment of the health of the people.

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