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Tanzanians Call for Prompt Action on Pesticides
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania A public forum on Pesticides Impact on Health and Environment prompted a lively debate among participants. Held on 1 March 2022 at Alliance Francaise, with support from the French Embassy, the discussion ranged from issues of pesticides in general, to their health and environmental impacts, alternatives such as agroecological farming, and methods of changing government such as lobbying strategies.
The panel was moderated by journalist Mr. Austin Makani. Addressing issues on the environment was Ms. Dora Swai, AGENDA. On health was Dr. Kheri Tungaraza, an oncologist at Muhimbili National Hospital. Dr. Mwatima Juma, Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), addressed issues related to politics and lobbying. And for pesticides in general, Dr. Vera Ngowi, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and TAPOHE, provided her perspectives.
The audience was a diverse set of stakeholders, including 50 people from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), and 26 guests from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), as well as people from Ardhi University, the National Institute of Transport, the Ocean Road Research Institute, local NGOs, and others, including members of the general public.
There was a lot of interest in the issues, with many questions and comments from the public over more than 3 hours. The public requested prompt action on individual, family, institutional, and national levels. They also asked for more debates to be organized to increase awareness to a wider public.