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Tour firms exploit porters, tour guides, say Mps

12th December 2012
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Abdulkarim Shaha

The Parliamentary Committee for Lands, Natural Resources, Tourism and Environment has accused tour companies for exploiting porters, tour guides and undermining people who climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

The Committee Vice Chairman Abdulkarim Shaha made the remarks in a meeting which involved porters and tour guides convened by Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Khamis Kagasheki.

He said there was no one who could climb Mount Kilimanjaro in the absence of porters but their payments were extremely low.

“These companies are not considerate at all to these people, a potter is being paid between 5,000/- and 10,000/- the government has set up the rates of payments but they don’t want to follow them…we will take this matter to the Committee,” Shaha said.

The Minister promised to prepare a joint meeting with porters and tour guides to discuss the problems facing them and look for solution by collaborating with responsible authorities.

For his part, Chairman of Tanzania National Parks Board of Directors Ambassador Charles Sanga, requested the Authority to look on possibilities of reducing the cost of climbing the mountain especially for Tanzanians because cost is the main factor for the majority of the locals to not climb the mountain.

“The cost of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not only the entry fee but also accommodation costs, foods, clothes and paying porters and tour guides …it is difficult for an ordinary Tanzanian to afford such costs,” he said.

For his part, Chairman of Serengeti Breweries Board of Trustees Mark Bomani said that there is a need of recognising people who have been climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for several times including the Retired Chief of Defense Forces Mrisho Sarakikya who climbed the Mountain 38 times.

He said the Company will continue to sponsor the exercise of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro known as Uhuru Expedition so as to increase the number of people climbing the Mountain and advertising it across the world.

Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Leonidas Gama said the government should come up with a system which will allow various groups of government leaders to climb the Mountain every year.

The team which comprised of 46 people who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro was led by Retired Chief of Defense Forces General George Waitara. Among them 9 reached the peak of the Mountain.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN