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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Tourism stakeholders urge action to save marine park

13th January 2012

Tourism stakeholders in Mafia Island have urged the government to take immediate measures against an increasing population which pose a threat to the future of Mafia Island Marine Park (MIMP).

Peter Byrne, a stakeholder in Mafia said the population around MIMP is increasing posing a huge threat to the future of the park.

He urged district officials responsible for maintaining the park to ensure that it continues to provide services to the required standards.

According to him the park has a lot of challenges which need immediate measures from the government.

“There is no efficient handling of human wastes and solid wastes in MIMP villages; erosion, siltation from cleared areas, roads, tracks, burning charcoal and deforestation are destroying the park,” he said.

He noted that because of the population inside park and especially the growth of Utende, MIMP is not “exclusive” like other national parks.

“Guests see the fishing inside the exclusive zones, the fish traps at snorkeling sites, thousands of women and children scouring the reefs at low tide and wonder aloud as to whether MIMP is a marine park”, he noted.

Byrne who is a hotelier in Mafia Island also urged the park management to create a habit of announcing in public all financial expenses resulting from tourist activities.

He noted because the park management does not carry out any public relations activities with hoteliers or visitors nobody knows how the money is spent and its impact on development.

According to the officials of  the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism , the government has already started to address challenges which hinders tourism sector in various areas.

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