Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, May 18, 2023.
Study shows climate change has significantly affected human rights fulfillment in Tanzania
The Legal and Human Rights Centre has on yesterday launched its report dubbed Impacts of Climate Change on Socio-Economic and Environmental Rights in Tanzania.
The reports show that climate change has significantly affected human rights under the social, economic, and environmental justice in Tanzania with agriculture, fishing, settlement, and livestock being the most affected sectors.
The study which was conducted in 20 villages, 10 districts, and six regions namely, Mwanza, Kagera, Manyara, Dodoma, Mbeya, and Coast region shows that agriculture is one of the most hard-hit sectors with most farmers complaining about the decrease in productivity due to drought.
The study also notes climate change has continued threatened settlement in study areas with the most climate hazards being the rising sea/ lake water levels in Coast and Lake zone regions causing the resident to migrate and even lose their livelihood. Periodical floods in various areas have also led to the destruction of properties and even loss of life.
Fisherman in Ukerewe, Bagamoyo, and Mafia reported that some species such as herring, mackerel, capelin, blue whiting, sprat, anchovy, and sardine have shifted away from shallow coastal waters and semi-enclosed areas into deeper waters, a fact which has heightened the difficulty of getting the once easily appropriable fish catch.
The study also notes that climate change impacts have also aggravated gender inequality with women being the most affected due to their roles at the households and community level. For example, due to the sea level rise and inland saltwater intrusion in the coastal areas, most freshwater sources have been affected subjecting women and girls to an increased walking burden of up to 1.5 km one way to collect water for domestic use.
The study concludes that there is limited capacity to cope with climate change in the country; knowledge, skills, and financial resources. In one of its recommendations, the study has proposed a detailed separate study for coastal areas including Zanzibar citing the vulnerability of the areas.
MPs raise concern over the low number of social welfare officers
During the budget readout of the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women, and Special Groups members of parliament expressed their concern about the low number of social welfare officers in the country.
In her contribution, Grace Tendega (CHADEMA) asks for the government to commit to employing social welfare officers to reach at least 45 percent of the demand.
The Minister responded that it plans to employ 800 Community Development Officers, unsatisfied with the response the Member of Parliament blocked the budget from passing, and she was joined by Salome Makamba (CHADEMA), Esther Matiko (CHADEMA), and Anatropia Lwehikila Theonest (CHADEMA).
“There is no plan in the budget to employ social welfare officers” emphasized Matiko, citing the different roles of the community development officers and social welfare officers.
According to the Controller and Auditor General Report 2021/22, there is a shortage of 22,036 social welfare officers, with the demand being higher at the village and ward levels. The CAG report identify this shortage as one of the challenges that inhibit the implementation of plans for curbing gender violence.
In salvaging the situation government reported that it will start with the employment of 350 social welfare officers in the fiscal year 2023/24. Following the response from the government, Sh. 74 billion budget of the Ministry was passed.
Mwinyi, ACT Wazalendo discuss Zanzibar’s political progress
The President of Zanzibar, Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, met with the leadership of ACT Wazalendo at the Zanzibar State House yesterday. The ACT Wazalendo delegation included party leader Zitto Kabwe, party chairperson Juma Haji Duni, and Othman Masoud Othman, the First Vice President of Zanzibar.
According to a statement released by the State House, Mwinyi and ACT Wazalendo have agreed to establish a special committee comprising members from both parties. This committee will focus on developing a plan for implementing the recommendations of the democracy task force report.
While the democracy task force report in Tanzania mainland has been made public, the report in Zanzibar has not been released yet. ACT Wazalendo had previously urged the government to make the report public in January 2023.
The formation of this committee follows a period of tension between ACT Wazalendo and CCM, triggered by several government decisions, including the appointment of Mr. Thabit Idarous Faina as the new director of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC).
ACT Wazalendo argues that Faina’s appointment is flawed and lacks integrity since he had previously served as the director during the contested 2020 election.
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