Private investors are duty-bound to make sure that they restore the land and the environment in general after they have extracted the raw materials or the natural resources. When extraction or processing of raw materials involves cutting of trees or destruction of the environment, the investors are tasked with a duty to plant trees in order to restore the environment to its original situation. This is a requirement as stipulated in both the Minerals’ Act and the Environment Management Act of Tanzania.
In order to achieve sustainable development, the local communities surrounding the investments should also be actively engaged since the plant is installed, operated and finally, its closure.
It was for this reason that members of the Tanzanian Chapter of the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam’s Red-Cross club, participated in planting trees at the Twiga Cement Factory.
It was not easy to get a chance to enter the plant for the earth keepers due to a number of bureaucratic red tapes. However, the members joined hands together to accomplish the Environment Month in Tanzania with an action of closure at Twiga Cement in Dar es Salaam, despite all the obstacles.
It was cloudy and was about to rain but members were so anxious to make sure they meet their target!.
Twiga Cement Factory provided the team with 800 tree seedlings of different species including sennasiamen and pongamia piñata to plant on that day. After two hours the tree planting exercise was completed as it was planned. Despite the fact that it was raining, the young African men and women worked hard to achieve the goal of the day. After planting trees, members got a chance to learn about trees. Twiga Cement workers responsible for planting and taking care of the trees at the plant explained to the members about the various species of trees such as fruits trees and timber trees as well as their salient features and grafting. The participants also engaged the Twiga Cement team in conversations concerning the tree planting exercise and the rationale behind the selection of the various tree species.
One of the most significant lessons of the day relates to a different concern on an environmental protection project known as “matete”, which entails planting of vegetation cover. At Twiga Cement’s Dar es Salaam factory, the vegetation is planted behind washrooms and used in recycling water running from the washrooms, which is later used to irrigate the trees around the plant.
The exercise concluded with a delicious lunch. We thank all the CYNESA Tanzania members and RED-CROSS members who showed up on that day. God bless you.
Our thesis is that, sustainable development cannot be realized if the local communities are not actively participated. It was a day well spent. Glory be to the almighty God.
Lilian Samson, a Core Team Member of CYNESA Tanzania.