The river that flows through the wetlands of the Usangu valley and the Ruaha National Park and eventually emptying into Rufiji River has been facing serious deforestation, poor irrigation infrastructure and farming yielding long dry spells.
But, speaking here yesterday shortly after receiving a special report on a technical assessment carried out last month, the Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, said all tenants with legitimate title deeds must be subjected to scrutiny.
“Those who are threatening the ecological backbone must have their title deeds changed,” the Vice-President, whose office also oversees environment, said. Ms Hassan directed immediate eviction of all intruders, specially farmers, who had put the great Ruaha basin in jeopardy.
“The Officials in the Ministry responsible for Environment must collaborate with the Regional Administration and Local Governments to ensure the exercise is successful,” she directed. According to the VP, such measures will help to significantly restore primitive vegetation degraded radically by various human activities.
She went on to insist that all the rules relating to the sustainable management of the ecology and environment of the Great Ruaha River Basin, including environmental and other laws should be enforced to the fullest to and by every person.
“All the stakeholders; the citizens, organisations and government officials must cooperate to save the ecosystem of the valley for the welfare of their lives and interests of the nation as a whole.”
Minister of State, Vice President’s Office (Union and Environment), Mr January Makamba, explained that the task force that was formed by the Vice- President in April, this year, did the work in 30 days.
The Minister was optimistic that should the recommendations posed in the report be fully implemented, they will bring about positive change including restoration of the already degraded Ruaha Basin.
He announced, however, that such similar initiatives will be taken in other parts currently threatened by human activities.