Juma made the remarks here yesterday when addressing reporters at the sidelines of the energy sector meeting held at Madinatul Bahar.
The meeting that involved development partners and government officials from the energy sector aimed to enable Zanzibar for an alternative energy sources.
He said the firewood being used by many residents in the Isles come from forests and that in a year about 500 hectares of forests are destroyed, hence having alternative energy sources including solar energy will enable the rescuing of large swathes of forests.
“Emission from wood fuel is hazardous to humans, but women are the big victims as they are the main users, hence alternative energy sources will rescue them from toxic emissions,” he added.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water, Energy and Minerals, Dr Mgereza Miraji Mzee said the government is in the process of sourcing funds for the construction of power infrastructures because Zanzibar depends on electricity from the Mainland, hence the strategy is for the Isles to have its own energy sources including solar energy.
He further said the effects of climate change greatly impact Zanzibar electricity because Zanzibar uses submarine cables from the Mainland.
“The sea has many challenges emanating from weather changes hence we do not wait for an incident to happen to start looking for solutions to the challenges, hence we have opted for solar and wind power,” he said.
For his part, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Shaibu Hassan Kaduwara said development partners have assisted Zanzibar including the 80KW solar power project at Kokota Island in Pemba.
He named some of the development partners as including Norway that has assisted in the solar project to the Isles and the World Bank that is funding the 18KW solar power project at Makunduchi Village in South Unguja Region.
For his part, the executive director of Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET), John Chikomo praised the Zanzibar government for its efforts in fighting environmental destruction including the establishment of solar power projects that are friendly to the environment.