Tanzania on Monday, April 15, 2019 said it would not relax a ban imposed in March on import and export of hazardous wastes, local media reported.
“The ban still stands because we want to be certain of what is imported or exported,” January Makamba, minister of state in the Vice-President’s Office responsible for environment, said.
“We also want to enact systems that will provide assurance of what is imported or exported, and if the process conforms to the country’s laws and signed international agreements,’’ Makamba said.
Makamba on March 22 announced a ban on importation, exportation, recycling, and collection of hazardous waste until a new system regulating the business is announced.
Makamba and the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) Director-General Samuel Gwamaka, jointly issued the announcement after a visit to the Dar es Salaam port.
They also prohibited traders from receiving hazardous waste from anyone who does not have a permit to do so from the Vice-President’s Office.
Makamba, addressing a meeting of 300 stakeholders in the business capital Dar es Salaam, said the government has banned the import and export of hazardous wastes to enable authorities to enact systems that will meet international obligations.
The meeting, organised by NEMC, brought together stakeholders from 27 companies dealing with collection, purchase, trading, import and export of hazardous wastes.
Some of the wastes include disposals from hospitals, mines, dirty oils, scrap metals and electronic wastes, scrap metal and used batteries.
Makamba said between January and March 2019, 280 containers of scrap metals were exported through formal procedures at the Dar es Salaam port. According to him, the ban is aimed at protecting some of the wastes that could be used as industrial raw materials for production of iron bars.