Dar es Salaam-based Twiga Cement Factory has been given a two-month ultimatum to control dust pollution or face a ban.
Deputy Minister in the Vice- President’s Office (Union and Environment), Kangi Lugola said dust from the factory has brought health concerns to the people living in its neighbourhood.Lugola was accompanied by officials from the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) for the tour of the factory in response to residents’ complaints.
“I have listened to both sides, and I am convinced that the dust problem is real, I am, therefore, giving a two-month ultimatum for the problem to be solved, or else I will close down the factory until the matter is solved,” he said.”I want NEMC experts to make a close follow-up, to measure and see whether the dust is reduced to accepted levels. You (NEMC) should not wait to be given a report by the owners of the factory and instead you should depend on your own tests,” he added.
Lugola also ordered environment officers in the Wazo area where the factory is located to improve hygiene in the area where small traders are located near the factory and are affected by its activities.The Executive Director of Twiga Cement, Alfonso Velez said the factory will work on the directives by the minister, but added that they were already doing their best in preserving the environment.
However, a representative of the residents, John Mwakipesile said the factory management had from time to time refused to heed people’s complaints over the factory’s pollution.”We have worked in collaboration with several former managements of this factory in addressing the matter in question, but the current management is not cooperative at all, we call for measures by the government in ensuring that justice is done,” he said.