World Bank report on MACEMP project gives ‘unsatisfactory’ rating

WORLD BANK REPORT ON 61 MILLION US DOLLAR MACEMP PROJECT HUGELY CRITICAL

(Posted 07th October 2013)

A World Bank report, assessing the impact and sustainability of a 61 million US Dollar project aimed to improve environmental practices along the Tanzanian coast line, has passed some damning judgment, certain to raise howls of outrage from government mouthpieces, who of late seem to be on the warpath with the global environmental and green lobbies, not only denying any impact of several hugely controversial projects but insisting those will go ahead by hook or crook.

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2013/08/18136080/tanzania-marine-coastal-environment-management-project

Tanzania – Marine and Coastal Environment Management Project (English)

ABSTRACT

Ratings for the Marine and Coastal Environment Management Project for Tanzania were as follows: outcomes were moderately unsatisfactory, GEO outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, risk to development outcome was substantial, risk to GEO outcome was substantial

Local conservationists immediately commented on the ongoing destructive nature of dynamite fishing, which has destroyed sections of the reefs off the main shores but also once more laid into the government’s plans to build a deep sea harbour in the centre of the Coelacanth marine national park. This marine national park was only created a few years ago after the prehistoric fish was discovered near Tanga, one of only a very few locations around the world where marine biologists, researchers and tourists can actually have a chance to come face to face with a species previously thought to be long extinct.

These 61 million Dollars were not exactly or completely wasted but for sure also did not meet the targets and objectives, that is what one has to conclude from the report. If risks to development and GEO outcomes are called ‘SUBSTANTIAL’ in the World Bank’s diplomatic language, it means in real terms that those outcomes are a highly endangered species about to go extinct. The Tanzanian government’s track record on conservation is now all but gone, these are no longer the days of Mwalimu [Tanzania’s
founder president Julius Nyerere, fondly called Mwalimu by the Tanzanian people,
Kiswahili for teacher]. When you just look at the utterances of Rweyemamu [State House Communications Director in Dar es Salaam] last week, when he told the global scientific community to shut up, that is the true face of what our country does these days. They peddle Uranium mining as safe and yet they all know, WE all know, that it is a highly toxic and radioactive mineral. The devastation in other countries where such mining has taken place in the past is making my hair stand. Even this weekend we had a symposium in Dar es Salaam where international experts warned of these dangers. Anyone who does not believe can google the facts and those facts say that our government mouthpieces are misleading the wananchi. Every single one singing those tunes should be probed if they have been corrupted by the mining companies, because for me there is no other explanation why anyone should lie to the public and belittle the obvious dangers. But back to this MACEMP project. We like to know how much of that money was a grant and how much was repayable loans because if the project has performed so badly, we still got to pay it back with our taxes. It is time for fundamental change in Tanzania because we have been had for too long. If we fail to stand up for our environment, our children and grand children will have a very heavy price to pay and it will not be pretty’ said a regular conservation source from Tanzania in the cause of an online chat, as usual insisting no name be given for fear of serious repercussions.

Indeed, a weekend of bad ratings and negative reports about Tanzania’s commitment towards conservation as other articles filed since last weekend will go to show. ‘Our president has lost control of those forces inside his administration. Already they are jockeying for the nomination for his succession. These campaigns cost money, a lot of money and those in the running are mortgaging their political future and ability to make decision in the best interest of our country to their financiers. There were lots of rumours at the last elections where the campaign funds came from and if that last election is anything to go by, we are in for a future of pollution and ransacking our mineral wealth because the politician elected will have to pay for all the IOU’s he is now signing. Why does anyone think is our government now pushing for the Serengeti highway or the soda ash plant or has taken the Eastern Arc mountains off the UNESCO WHS application list. To mine, log and extract our wealth so that payback can be made and the money will keep flowing for the next election. Make no mistake, that is the reality here in Tanzania today. Once we were a mighty fortress against corruption and even if Mwalimu made wrong decisions, he did so because he believed it was the best for Tanzania. Today, decisions are made for what is best for the elite’ added another source after reading earlier reports filed here. Watch this space.

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