Ministers halt  Mindu dam evictions

16Feb 2019
James Kandoya
The Guardian
Ministers halt  Mindu dam evictions

A team of eight ministers has temporarily suspended the decision by Morogoro authorities to  move out people  living 500 metres around  Mindu dam  until further notice.

The team  led by the  Minister for Lands,Housing and Human Settlements Development  William Lukuvi was formed  by President John Magufuli  and tasked to   travel across the countries and suggest possible ways to him in order to avoid conflicts.


Speaking     after the  tour at Mindu dam in Morogoro Region yesterday, Lukuvi instead directed the authorities to submit their request to the Minister for Water.


He said if the exercise was implemented it might cause misunderstandings  between the people and the  government.


Others in the team were the  Minister  for Natural resources and Tourism, Dr Hamis Kigwangalla,Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Luaga Mpina,Minister for Defence Hussein Mwinyi,Minister for water Prof Makame Mbarawa,President office's,Regional and Local Government Authority Minister (PR- RALG) Sulemani Jaffo.


Others were the Deputy Minister for Agriculture  Omary Mgumba,Deputy Minister in the Vice President's Office(Environment and Union) Musa Sima.


He said despite the available water Resources   Management Act,there was a need for the authority to stop it until further recommendations.


The minister further urged the Morogoro authority to submit their plan to the responsible  minister and he will give directives on how to implement the exercise.


"After our tour, we have temporarily suspended the operation of removing the dwellers living around the dam.", he said.


" Instead the authority must submit the request to the responsible minister and will respond to that accordingly, “he added.


According to him, the minister for water  is mandated to give the guidelines on best way how the operation will be carried and the construction of  the second phases of the dam.


He noted that the recommendations can be useful to advice   President Magufuli on best  approach to deal with emerging challenges in similar areas.


He said after Mindu dam, the team will also visit   Mbarali in  Mbeya ,Serengeti in Mara,Ilemela in Mwanza and Geita Region


For his part, the official from  the Wami/Ruvu basin Simon Ngonyani said it was dangerous to live around the dam should it  collapse .


The officer said at least 60  households(133 members) in Kasanga and Mindu village are supposed to move out.


Ngonyani added that Mindu was very important for people in Morogoro since 80 per cent of them depend on water from the dam.


Citing the dam collapse in Brazil and Kenya,he said it might lead to deaths and injuries to people residing around it.


He said   human activities have negative impacts around the dam.


Ngonyani hinted that the water resources Management Act of 2009 prohibits human activities in protected zones without the permission from the board of Wami/Ruvu Basin.


"No person shall enter or carry out any activity within  the Mindu dam protected zone without the permission of the basin water board  which has jurisdiction over such area",he said.


Morogoro Regional Commissioner Dr Kebwe Steven said the authority had planned to move out the residents to another area.


He said it had allocated plots that will be given to those who will be shifted from the Mindu dam  surroundings.


Kondo Mbega,a resident of Kassanga village called on the government to reconsider them by  allocating plots.




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