Can Tanzanians afford ‘green transportation’?

Friday September 15 2017


Transportation is one aspect we cannot do without in this day and age. However, the current transportation systems comes along with a wide range of problems including global warming, environmental degradation, health implications and emission of greenhouse gases.

In fact, the transport sector attributes to 23 percent of the globe’s greenhouse gas emission resulting from burning of fossil fuels. Out of the total greenhouse gas emissions, road transport takes up a large share, 75 percent to be precise, and if something is not done, this trend is projected to increase in the future.

In an interview we had with Mr Abbas Kitogo, a Program specialist for Energy, Climate Change and Extractives at UNDP Tanzania, he said the UN organisation is focused on the development of the country and all people in it know that transport is a key driver to any country's economic growth.

“So we are always looking for ways to develop it. Only that UNDP looks at the development of transport at a different angle, looking at how the transport sector can be supported to ensure that it is sustainable in a way that it avoids emission of greenhouse gases, there is a proper policy regulatory framework  set for it  but is not being reinforced and needs to be revised," he says.


So, is it possible for Tanzania to attain an eco-friendly transport system?



An eco-friendly transport system revolves around efficient and effective use of resources, modification of the transport structure and making healthier travel choices. Which is also now known as ‘Green transportation’.

Let’s set aside the impractical ideas that are yet to happen in Tanzania maybe in the next 20 years like electric bicycles, motorcycles, vehicles and hybrid cars and buses.

And utilize what we already have to ensure an eco-friendly transport system, like;


  1. Bicycles
    This is a no brainer. Using bicycle to commute is another great mode of green transportation. Riding a bicycle instead of driving a car enormously contributes to ridding the atmosphere of greenhouse gasses. Although walking is a great green transportation mode, a bicycle has far reaching benefits because it is faster and it is also a form of workout. You can buy a bicycle at really reasonable prices these days. Buying and maintenance cost is only fraction of what is required for a car.


  1. Multiple occupant vehicles
    While explosion of vehicles in Tanzania is a milestone that many are happy about, pollution levels have significantly increased. Multiple occupant vehicles, also referred to as carpools, reduce the number of vehicles on roads, hence, minimising levels of pollution.
    Groups of friends and colleges can make use of one vehicle when habitually driving in similar direction. Instead of each of five individuals driving their own cars to the city center from Kimara, they could use BRT, which is a lot more economical (saves money and fuel) and ecologically sensible to make use of a single car/bus to take all of you to the same destination. Definitely a great way to save petrol, money and our environment.


  1. Pedestrians
    One should prefer to walk to school, work and grocery shopping and so on. Walking involves zero emission of any greenhouse gas, it is free and an additional plus is it is a good form of exercise for the body.


For all this to bear any fruit, it requires dedicated public awareness and participation but also proper management of privately owned vehicles.

The key benefits that we will all gain from an eco-friendly transport system are fewer to; no environmental pollution, save money, it will contribute to building a sustainable economy but also improved health.


Let’s see how the future of transport looks with the Raha wise guy.


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