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Beef up budget to fight poaching-call

14th December 2012
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As poaching intensifies in the country, hunting companies have called on the government to increase the budget of the Wildlife Division and equip it with modern tools to fight the menace.

The call was made in Dar es Salaam yesterday by eleven hunting firms donated various items worth 42m/- to the division to support anti- poaching patrols in the country.

The Hunting companies represented are the ones operating in Rungwa Game Reserve, Kizigo/Muhuwesi Game Reserve.

They said currently poaching activities have increased prompting them to support the government efforts in fighting back.

“We have seen elephant tusks being impounded in different parts of the country…this is an indication that the government is working on containing the problem,” they noted, adding: “The market of elephant tusks has grown specifically in China and Asia thus the syndicate needs effective control.”

They observed that one of the challenges facing the anti- poaching unit was the vast areas of the country’s game reserves and national parks which do not correspond with the number of game wardens.

They said that internationally one game warden is supposed to guard 25 square kilometres but in Tanzania the ratio is one game warden to 250 kilometer squares.

“The situation is very challenging taking into account other challenges such as the use of mobile phones and motorbikes in poaching activities, making it even harder to control,” they said.

Acting Assistant Director of the Wildlife Development Twaha Twaibu from the Wildlife Department commended the hunting companies for their support.

He said the partnership between government and private sectors should be emphasised especially at this time when the poaching wave has increased.

He said that the donation by the companies will not only increase the number of patrols but also improve tourism hunting in the country.

The anti poaching equipment contributed include 15 tyres for anti-poaching vehicles, 3 batteries for vehicles, 6 front shock absorbers, 6 rear shock absorbers, 1 injector pump, 1 injector nozzles, 10 tents, 2satelite phones and 10,000 litres of diesel.

The companies which made the contribution include Northern Hunting enterprises (T) Ltd, Palahala Safaris, Rungwa Game Safaris, Wembere Hunting Safaris, and Robin Hurt Safaris.
Others are Bushman Safaris, Marera Safaris, African Buffalo Trackers, Tawico, Wildfoot Prints and Eco System.

In August this year Natural Resources and Tourism deputy minister Lazaro Nyalandu directed Tanzania National Parks Board of Trustees to provide thorough explanations on the increased poaching activities and illegal mining activities in country’s national parks which threatened tourism business.

Nyalandu said that poaching activities in national parks and game reserves were getting worse and there was a sophisticated international criminal syndicate conducting the crime in the country.

He said according to reports 42 percent of elephants in Selous Game reserve and Mikumi National Park have disappeared in the past three years which is equivalent to 31,348 elephants which were killed.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN