Tanzania wages war against pastoralists grazing in national parks



Date Published

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) — Tanzania has announced a fresh war against pastoralists who are taking livestock into the national parks, saying the vice has been threatening to kill the country’s sanctuaries.

Jumanne Maghembe, Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism said on Sunday that Serengeti National Park is among the highly affected parks with livestock grazing in the east African nation.

The Tanzania’s oldest and second largest park after Ruaha National Park is also the UNESCO World Heritage Site located in northern Tanzania.

“We’re going well with the fight against wildlife poaching, but the remaining serious war is rampant grazing, which threatens our conservation efforts. Reports say that pastoralists have been taking livestock into the protected areas,” the minister said.

He said that the government will leave no stone unturned in the new fight against pastoralists, who have been sneaking into the national parks for pastures.

“We are aware of the challenge and we are taking all the necessary measures to ensure that our parks are free from trespassers and encroachers,” he said, adding that livestock found inside the park will be confiscated and the owner will be taken to court for further action.

The minister also cited illegal logging and charcoal making as another challenge facing wildlife conservation efforts in Tanzania.

Tanzania’s tourism sector brings in 2 billion U.S. dollars per year and contributes 12.2 percent of employment in the east African nation.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council Tanzania Country Report, 90 percent of tourists visiting Tanzania visit national parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the spice island of Zanzibar.

Tanzania’s new national parks chairman vows to fight poaching

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) — The newly appointed chairman of Tanzania’s national parks, a retired army general, on Friday vowed to use a paramilitary unit in the fight against poaching.

George Waitara, former Chief of Defence Forces with the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF), declared that the days of poachers are numbered.

President John Magufuli in November last year appointed General Waitara chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA).

Waitara said his team will also focus on resolving the wildlife-livestock conflicts and a host of other problems plaguing the country’s national parks.

He also made it clear that TANAPA will not tolerate dishonest and unscrupulous officials.

Jumanne Maghembe, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, has challenged the TANAPA Board of Directors to hit the ground running in resolving wildlife-livestock conflicts, promoting tourism, and combating poaching.

Seven poachers arrested in Tanzania’s wildlife protected area

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) — Tanzanian game rangers on Friday arrested seven poachers and seized a truck full of timber and logs in a wildlife protected area during an operation.

Omari Tofiki, Chairman of Wami-Mbiki Wildlife Management Area, said the area has become an epicenter of poachers, illegal timber and logging businesses.

The Wami-Mbiki Wildlife Management Area covers part of Bagamoyo District in Coast Region and Mvomero District in Morogoro Region.

Tofiki added that poaching has of late become frequent, threatening the survival of wildlife and forest in the area.

“We decided to conduct this special operation to protect the area from poaching and abuse of natural resources,” said Tofiki.

He said in order to save the area, the government has to provide financial support and vehicles for patrols in the management area.

“We fail to do regular patrols because we don’t have vehicles to cover all the area,”said Tofiki.

He said the area cannot sustain itself due to poor supervision of resources done by previous leaders.

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