Mr Malima also ordered TAZAMA to make prompt compensation to people who were affected by leakage which occurred on September 23, last year. TAZAMA pipeline transports crude oil from Dar es Salaam to Ndola in Zambia.
“It is high time you restored the environment to allow other development activities. The restoration will also ensure that the contaminated water in the affected area is not washed away and contaminate water in Ruvu River which supplies water to Dar es Salaam and Coast regions,” he said.
“This should be done without delay, I want the exercise to be completed within two weeks and residents should also be compensated during that period,” he added. The deputy minister made the remarks here on Wednesday during his visit to inspect cleanout of the affected area. He was accompanied by environment officials from the ministry and Kibaha Rural MP, Mr Abuu Hamoud Jumaa (CCM).
He also called for scientific testing of soil, animals and plants around the area to establish the extent of damage. Mr Malima assured residents at the basin that they were entitled to compensation and that for those whose health has been affected, they have the right to receive medical care.
During the visit, Mr Malima inspected the area and met with residents who were affected by the leakage. “The area in question is a wetland and it is thus impossible to use vehicles to remove the top soil, it is better to remove the layer manually. Those performing the exercise should however be provided with protective gears,” he directed.
The area’s MP, Mr Jumaa said he has been working closely with the government to address the matter and hailed the deputy minister for the visit. “I am glad you have come here to assess the situation. We believe the cleaning exercise and payment of compensation will be conducted smoothly because the people here have suffered a lot,” the MP said.
Briefing the deputy minister earlier, the Chairman of Kaloleni Village, Mr Abdallah Kido, said some 109 homesteads were affected by the spillage. “Ten homesteads surrounding the area had their farms affected while the remaining where affected by unpleasant smell from the crude oil,” Mr Kido.
The residents told Mr Malima that the stench nauseated villagers and some experienced running stomachs while their livestock died after drinking contaminated water from the affected area. They also complained that the management of TAZAMA has delayed compensation since the incident occurred in September last year.
Kibaha District Administrative Secretary, Mr Jusseim Mwakipesile, said the district has been cooperating with TAZAMA to identify people who were affected and making assessment on the envisaged compensations.