Deputy minister in the Office of the Second Vice President, Mihayo Juma Nh'unga, made the statement yesterday in the House of Representatives when responding to a question by Paje MP, Jaku Hashim Ayoub who had wanted to know government's strategy to address the increasing plastic waste in the Indian Ocean, which in turn pose a serious challenge to marine resources.
"As government we're fully aware of the challenge, which poses many threats to the health of ocean, including the scourge of marine plastic pollution. And we've taken several initiatives including building modern dumpsite at Kibele, which is used to destroy all waste including plastics," he said
He also revealed that his office has been working to come up with a national strategy on waste management and control which is to be presented at the top government level for approval in this fiscal year.
The deputy minister said, they have been providing community awareness on waste management through various channels including meetings and running sanitation campaigns in the beaches.
“The government in its public education programs asked public to reduce the use of plastic materials to reduce the production of plastic waste" he said.
However in his supplementary question, the representative has also wanted to know the plans to have a plastic recycle factory in order to reduce the plastic waste in addressing environmental impacts.
Responding to the question, Deputy Minister Nhung'a said that the amount of plastic waste produced in Zanzibar is not enough to establish a factory.
He explained that the establishment of such factory would need to import large quantities of plastic waste from abroad which is danger to the human health and environment as well.
The minister added: “it is also a danger for the tourism industry which has become an important pillar for Zanzibar's economy, so the Government does not see any necessities of establishing a factory that will turn importation of plastic waste”.
He said the Government recognizes and appreciates the efforts of some entrepreneurs who collect some plastic waste and recycle it for other use.