Speaking here yesterday, Deputy minister in the Natural Resources and Tourism ministry Constantine Kanyasu said the bilateral talks also aim to reduce road accidents pitting motor vehicle drivers and ‘bodaboda overloaded with bags of charcoal, the situation that make their drivers fail to control them when passing motor vehicles on main roads.
The decision comes following what is now the growing trend of ‘bodaboda ’ and bicycles becoming major means in transporting bags of charcoal from various forests to urban centres for sale.
Available statistics show the city of Dar es Salaam alone consumes over 500,000 tons of charcoal per year and 25 per cent of that is transported by means of ‘bodaboda ’ and bicycles.
Kanyasu said about 400,000 hectares of forest land is destroyed every, and added that if the situation continues unabated, all forest areas will be depleted.
He said the bilateral meeting will chart the direction on how to arrest the situation whereas road traffic police can work together with Tanzania Forest Service Agency(TFS) officials in controlling this means of road transport.
Kanyasu said TFS alone is unable with such vehicles transporting forest products, but in collaboration with traffic police their control can be strengthened so as to reduce depletion of forest land.
He said the talks are expected to take place towards the end of this month (January) and hopes that they will come to fruition.
He said according to statistics more than 3,000 ‘bodaboda ’ and 1,500 bicycles are engaged in charcoal transport, with each vehicle carrying more than five charcoal bags at a time along Morogoro Road towards the city of Dar es Salaam.
Kanyasu said other roads used to carry charcoal to Dar es Salaam are Bagamoyo and Kilwa Roads that are estimated to involve 6,000 and 3,000 ‘bodabodas’ and bicycles respectively.