Tourism stakeholders have called on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to recruit committed people who can help to tackle illegal ivory trade in the country, particularly in southern Tanzania.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, they said the killing of elephants for their tusks was on the increase, hence called for committed people to put an end to the slaughter.
A stakeholder, Salum Njoneka from Rufiji district in Coast region, said the number of elephants being killed in various game reserves was increasing because the government did not take stern measures to address the situation.
“It is time the ministry employed committed people who can protect wild animals against poachers,” he said.
Njoneka also said in order to reduce poaching incidents there was a need to improve the intelligence unit and patrols around game reserves.
“We need to have wildlife good governance and take stern measures against all the people, including staff, who will be linked with poaching,” he said.
He said if the government wanted to earn more from tourism it had to protect wild animals, particularly elephants.
According to him, the economy of Tanzania largely depended on wildlife tourism, hence wanton killing of wild animals might impact the income from the sector.
Another stakeholder, Sultan Mashauri, said in order to reduce poaching, the government should establish a special court that will deal with pochers.
“I think the right measure to be taken by the government right now is to establish a special court which will deal with this illegal business which hurts our economy severely,” he said.
He also urged the government to abandon its plan to introduce patrols by helicopter saying the move would not help reduce poaching.
“Since Tanzania is a vast area, it will be impossible to cover the whole country. What is needed is more foot patrols and informers who can reveal the culprits,” he said.
Inaugurating the Tanzania Forest Service board in Dar es Salaam last week, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Khamis Kagasheki was quoted as saying that he planned to make major changes in the wildlife division in an effort to improve its performance and effectiveness.
“We have realised that many workers in the department have no interest in serving the nation. They are there fort personal gain,” he warned.