Makamba: Tanzania’s position on export of wastes stands

Monday April 15 2019


By Kelvin Matandiko @TheCitizenTZ

Dar es Salaam. Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office responsible for Environment and Union Affairs January Makamba has reiterated the government’s decision to ban export of hazardous and hard wastes.

On March 22, Mr Makamba issued a three-week ban on export of scrap metals pending permits verifications provided by different authorities in the government’s efforts to enact control procedures.

“The ban still stands, because we want to be certain of what is exported. We also want to enact systems that will provide assurance of what is exported and if the process conforms to country’s laws and signed international agreements,” he said.

Mr Makamba made the statement in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, April 14, 2019, when addressing nearly 300 hard waste stakeholders.

“For instance international contracts prohibit export of certain wastes before prior acceptance statement is issued by a recipient country. Therefore, if Tanzania grants export permits without seeing acceptance statement, the decision will be against own obligations,” he said.

He added: Therefore, we have suspended the export to enable us enact systems that will enable us fulfill our international obligations.”

The meeting was organized by the National Environment Management Council (Nemc), bringing together stakeholders from 27 companies dealing with collection, purchase, trading, import and transport of hazardous wastes.

Some of these wastes include disposals from hospitals, mines, dirty oils, scrap metals and electronic wastes.

Speaking during the event, Mr Makamba said between January and March 2019, 280 containers of scrap metals were exported through formal procedures at the Dar es Salaam Port.

He, however, noted that some were exported through informal means, therefore denying the country several opportunities.

“The decision has come after learning that sometimes containers reported to be exported were not the ones leaving the country,” he said.

He said the ban intended to protect some of the waste that could be used as industrial raw materials for production of iron bars, saying Tanzania wasn’t ready to import wastes.

During the meeting it was resolved that the new systems should increase institutions that provide permits, increase legal monitoring through Nemc and control of permits.