Govt to install CCTV cameras in Mikumi National Park

21Jan 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Govt to install CCTV cameras in Mikumi National Park

 THE government is set to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the Mikumi National Park in a move aimed at curbing poaching incidents and reduce accidents in the sanctuary, located in southern part of the country.

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Hamis Kigwangalla said that the surveillance cameras will also help reduce accidents, which kill hundreds of wild animals in the park that is located 250 km from the country's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

He said that the cameras will be installed across the Mikumi national park as well as on the 50 km-stretch of the park along the busiest Tanzania-Zambia highway.

"This is the only way we can save this important sanctuary from poaching and reckless driving," he said in an interview aimed at getting the government’s strategies to scale up tourism in the park.

The interview was organized by Journalist Environment Association of Tanzania (JET) under the project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The project is dubbed: ‘Promoting Tanzania’s Environment, Conservation, and Tourism (PROTECT) aimed at improving capacity for conservation and to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking throughout Tanzania.

"The CCTV cameras will ease the task of managing the important park in the country," he said, without divulging the amount of money that will be spent in the project.

According to the minister, the Tanzania-Zambia highway in the park has complicated the management of the park as it makes it easier for poachers to get into the park using different means of transport such as vehicles, and motorcycles.

"In this project we'll team up with police traffic department, who ensure that the 50 km-stretch of the park is an accident-free area.

As government, we're very optimistic that CCTV cameras will play a big role in addressing accidents in the park," the minister stressed.

In 2016, it is estimated that about 313 wild animals were killed in the Tanzania's fourth largest park.

Animals in the park include giraffes, elephants, lions, zebras and wildebeests.

Last week, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources advised the government to fast-track talks with the World Bank for acquisition of a 345bn/- loan to improve tourism in the southern circuit.

The southern circuit includes national parks such as Katavi, Kitulo, Mahale, Mikumi and Ruaha, the Udzungwa Mountains, the Selous Game Reserve, and two rift valley lakes (Nyasa and Tanganyika).

Visiting members of the committee said in remarks to reporters that talks to finalize issuance of the funds are delayed by the WB following the government’s stance to continue implementing the 2,100 megawatts Stigler’s Gorge hydropower project along Rufiji River in Coast region.

Tanzania had requested for a WB loan to improve the country’s tourism infrastructure in the southern corridor through the Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism Growth (REGROW) project.

The project was expected to help improve management of natural resources and tourism assets in priority areas of southern Tanzania and to increase access to alternative livelihood activities for the targeted communities.

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