The call was made here by the NEMC Director General, Dr Samuel Gwamaka, in Matosa area, Ubungo District, Dar es Salaam Region, after meeting young people mining sand in Matosa valley, through which Mbezi River flows.
Dr Gwamaka said well-coordinated sand mining could be a source of public revenue and employment to young people, hence the need for sand mining guidelines.
He proposed that NEMC, the Commission of Minerals and district councils should work together to formulate guidelines, explaining that Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda had already issued a circular to that effect. The RC, he said, appealed to Minerals Ministry, NEMC and district councils to work together so that sand mining could be done sustainably.
One of the miners on the site, Jeremia Kitomali, called on the government to give sand miners permits because, he said, miners were arrested by authorities while they were reportedly doing a good job to the nation. He argued that sand miners removed dirty from river beds and banks, facilitating proper flow of water in rivers. “When we remove dirty and sand to river beds and banks, water flows properly,” he argued.
Dr Gwamaka called on Matosa youths to form sand mining groups that would be recognised by local authorities. Groups, he said, would mine sand in a manner that does not harm environment or be a source of damage to costly public infrastructure. He said only organised groups would be recognised under proposed guidelines.