Reinforcing vegetation near water sources to cost $75m

24Jun 2022
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Reinforcing vegetation near water sources to cost $75m

A project to restore natural vegetation in key water source areas affected by farming activities in five Southern Highlands regions is expected to cost $75m.

Rufiji Basin.

Faraja Ngalageza, assistant director for environment in the Vice President’s Office, made this observation in an address to officials of district councils in which the project will be carried out.

Mbeya, Rukwa, Katavi, Njombe and Iringa regions will host the project, to ensure that water sources for two water basins spread out in those regions are reinforced, to protect Lake Rukwa Basin water sources.

The other targeted water body is the Rufiji Basin which incorporates the Great Ruaha River, which has a vital role in wildlife ecology and electricity generation, he stated, elaborating that district councils to be involved in the project are those touched by the two basins.

Dr Damas Mapunda, the project coordinator, said $11.2m from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) has been disbursed for the project, highlighting that it is also expected to use internal funds from public bodies in the districts, bringing the total cost provisions to $75.5m.

The project will have huge benefits, making the environment friendly for economic activities including farming and tourism, while facilitating power generation projects along the Ruaha and Rufiji rivers, he stated.

Saidi Madito, an official with the regional administration, said popular involvement in the project is essential to ensure its objectives are realized and the environment is preserved.

The project is supposed to be sustainable even with limited financial resources, so it is vital that people are educated on environmental protection, he said.

Maximilian Kempanju, an environment stakeholder, said the project will have immense benefits as environmental preservation boosts chances of reliable rainfall.

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