The Government has called upon industrialists to abide by laws governing the environment in order to mitigate health hazards that are likely to be caused by their manufactured products.
The call comes after an intensive campaign the government launched countrywide a month ago in search of unscrupulous traders who continue using banned plastic bags that have an adverse to environmental impact.
The government has discovered that, the banned plastic carrier bags are sneaked into the country through porous borders hence their continued presence in the Tanzanian market event after the Government’s ban.
Speaking to The Business Wiz over the phone on the ongoing crackdown, the Environment Minister Dr. Selemani Jafo said in an interview that, “The Government has no intention of closing up the industry but has closely engaging and sensitizing investors to adhere to rules as stipulated in National Environmental Laws”.
He said, his ministry would continue defending the country’s economy and stand firm in support of the ongoing operation that seeks to prevent distribution and sale of banned plastic bags, which affects environment.
“We know there are some unscrupulous traders who continue to import or manufacture the banned plastic carrier bags for their selfish interests an aspect that is contrary and intentionally committed with a view to violate the country’s laws”, he said
He warned that traders who turn a blind eye and tend to violate the government directive in accordance with article 191 Section 6 of the law amended Act of 2021, would be dealt with accordingly.
“The National Policy as stipulated in the law directly prohibits certain types of the plastic bags to be used as containers which are harmful and hence cause environmental hazards,” he noted.
He also noted that, for a country to develop, it requires investors and that if there are manufacturing industries which are polluting the environment out of their industrial activities, his ministry is cordially asking such investors to rectify the impending mistakes.
A few weeks back, the government embarked its search within its borders whereby the regional and district administrative bodies have been delegated with powers to carry out the ongoing countrywide operations to ensure the sale and supply of unwanted carrier bags is eradicated.
Earlier the Vice-President Dr. Phillip Mpango directed that, the relevant authorities at regional levels should set up checkpoints at entry border posts to confiscate the prohibited plastic bags and where possible, apprehend the perpetrators.
The country’s VP ordered law enforcers to beef up security in regions bordering the country at the border posts and official government notice to travelers planning to visit Tanzania is issued to remind travels on Tanzania’s stand on single use polythene bags.
“Under the operation, the Government does not intend to interact visitors’ stay unpleasant but it expects the imperative to protect the environment and keep the country clean and beautiful,” he said.
The results of the ongoing crackdown has culminated the destruction of about 41 tons of the manufactured prohibited plastic bags that had been set on fire.
Two weeks after the launch of the operation, bales of the banned carrier bags were impounded packed in small sacks in the warehouse owned by one foreign manufacturing firm Swallow Investments Ltd about a month ago.
The Mauritius based manufacturing industry located at Tegeta on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city, was found guilty in possession of illegal products hidden in its warehouse, which were ready for distribution to wholesale business people.
The move is contrary to the rules and regulations governing the environmental conservation in the country, said the Minister responsible for Environment Dr. Selemani Jafo who witnessed the exercise.
On the fateful day, the Minister had made prompt visit at the firm’s factory accompanied by the Dar es Salaam government authorities including Regional Commissioner Amos Makala together with Director General of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) Dr. Samwel Gwamaka.
The government imposed a severe penalty and ordered the management of the manufacturing firm to pay a fine of 10m/- (US$ 42,731) for producing banned plastic bags