By Seif Slavian
“The garbage has been in the dump for one week now, the government has failed to take it in specific time.” said Devotha Moyo.
Dar es Salaam residents have been complaining about the dirtiness of the city and the environmental pollution that occurs. Residents are suffering as a result of poor sanitation, hygiene and environmental degradation that is not suitable for residents.
Speaking to Mohamed Issa, a resident of Tandale, he said that it has taken too long for the government to collect garbage that has been produced by the residents, and that the build up of waste may lead to the eruption of disease.
These problems have been here since independence. People are faced with poor environmental health, hygiene, and sanitation.
People are suffering from diseases like Malaria, diarrhea, lower respiratory infections, and unintentional injuries.
According to Tanzania’s national Environment Law Policy of 1997, the government is to ensure sustainable and equitable use of resources without degrading the environment or risking health or safety.
Article 14 of the Tanzanian Constitution stipulates that every person has the right to life and to be protected of that life by society. The government has failed to protect its people in environmental health in regards to the law, and people have died and suffered from the eruption of diseases caused by pollution in the environment.
A World Health Organization (WHO) report noted that in lesser developed countries like Tanzania one third of death and disease is a direct result of environmental causes like unsafe water, air pollution, and unsafe households.
The WHO has also noted that better environmental management could prevent 40% of deaths from Malaria and 41% of deaths caused from lower respiratory infections, which are the two biggest childhood killers.
The Tanzania Ministry of Healthy and Social Welfare has created an initiative to implement a National Sanitation Campaign with the purpose of introducing promotional activities that aim at increasing access to improved sanitation and hygiene at both households and schools nation wide.
Daniel Mrisho in his journal Law, Environment and Development, noted that “environmental issues in Tanzania are often complex and less addressed. The concept is new as far as the legal part of it is concerned, as the environment is not adequately addressed by the law.”
The Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania does not directly and adequately address environment matters. It does not spell out environmental rights, which could prompt the development of environment law and other laws, which are relevant to the subject. The issue of environmental health and matters of environmental standards should be considered in the rewriting of the upcoming constitution.
Seif is currently pursuing his studies in Journalism at St. Augustine University of Tanzania and hopes to become a professional journalist who will be capable of addressing the problems of the voiceless in his community.