ARUSHA, Tanzania – Arusha is among the three Tanzanian cities which will take part in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Earth Hour City Challenge writes ELISHA MAYALLAH.
The competition promotes renewable energy and prepares for climate change to create more sustainable and resilient cities.
Other Tanzanian cities are Moshi and Dar es Salaam. Arusha City Mayor Gaudence Lyimo said last week, “We are ready to take part in the Challenge because of its significance in addressing climate change and reducing carbon emission. As City fathers, we’ll make sure we effectively sensitize communities to continue protecting the environment by planting more trees in their respective areas,” he said.
He said Arusha, like many Tanzania and African cities as a whole, are currently overwhelmed with major challenges, notably rapid urbanization. “As we encounter rapid urbanization we cannot escape the woes brought about by climate change as new settlements open up in delicate ecosystems. Thus straining the capacity of the city to absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by the numerous factories and vehicles that characterize all city centers,” he said.
Isaya Doita, one of the Ward Councillors in-charge of social service in the city, said the only way for the city to win the challenge is to encourage teamwork among the people, leaders, activists and other players taking part.
Philipina Shayo of WWF-Tanzania, said the project is to be implemented in 18 cities across the world for the next three years.
She said cities will be competing among themselves in terms of efficient use of energy and use of renewable energy with the ultimate target of using 100% renewable energy.
Other countries whose cities are involved include Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Finland, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. Others are South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Spain, Serbia and France. She said the Challenge will focus on ensuring food security for city dwellers, efficient use of energy and the use of renewable energy, managing waste and ensuring efficient use of water.