FIRST Vice-President Othman Masoud Othman has advised the Zanzibar Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) to conduct a study on the possibility of applying land reclamation in the isles so that there could be more land for various activities.
He told ZEMA officials during his tour to their office that shortage of land and the ongoing soil erosion and floods are challenges that need to be resolved.
“It is high time you make a study on the effects of climate change and the possibility of land reclamation,” he said.
He said that since many areas have been affected by climate change, it is necessary for environmental experts to conduct studies to find solutions that will protect the available land and residential areas from erosion, floods, and land salinisation.
“We must do something to protect our homes and land from being washed away by seawater. Msuka in Pemba is a good example where farms and residential areas have been invaded by seawater, forcing people to abandon their homes and stop farming because of increased salinity,” Othman said.
He said ZEMA in collaboration with other experts should study on how to minimize the impact of climate with the view of increasing the land through reclamation.”
Land reclamation is also known as land fill, a process of creating new land from oceans, seas, riverbeds or lake beds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or land fill.
According to ZEMA, Pemba Island is highly affected by the sea rise and it has been witnessing land erosion in many areas, which is a threat to crops farming and residential houses close to the sea.
ZEMA Director General Sheha Mjaja Juma promised to work on the VP’s directives.