President Kikwete has sanctioned plans to mine soda ash at Lake Natron in the Arusha region. He said that environmental concerns would be taken care of. NGO’s and activists opposed to the plans have expressed concern that soda ash mining would alter the area’s ecosystem and disrupt the habitat and breeding grounds for the flamingos which have given Lake Natron worldwide fame – Citizen.
Tanzania is facing the same problem over student tuition costs as Britain but with far fewer financial resources.
Rogers Luhwago, writing in the Sunday Guardian, under the heading ‘Education costs must be shared’, quoted a government official as saying that chaos and class boycotts at institutions of higher learning would not end unless the government reviewed its cost sharing policy. Tanzania was the only country in the world that provided finance for students in all private and public universities; it was unbearable for the government. The burden of financing undergraduate studies in universities would keep growing every year. He noted that Tanzanians were keen to contribute to wedding ceremonies and kitchen parties but when it came to education every one thinks it is the duty of the government.
One MP suggested that the government should think of financing a single student in each family where there are many children. “It’s impossible for the government to finance all of them. Parents should share the costs,” she said.
In the previous week the government had suspended indefinitely all undergraduate students from the University of Dar es Salaam for boycotting studies in protest against what they described as the “low rate” of meal allowance of TSh5000 (£2) per day’ The government later promised to double the amount in the next budget.