Longido DED advocates efforts to keep wildlife along Kenya,TZ Border

21Nov 2018
The Guardian Reporter
LONGIDO
The Guardian
Longido DED advocates efforts to keep wildlife along Kenya,TZ Border

WILDLIFE found along the country’s northern common border with Kenya should be jointly conserved as it serves economic and social benefits of both countries.

 

Londigo District Executive Director, Juma Mhina said last week that officials on both sides of the boundary establish a common understanding and joint programmes to manage the resources for optimum benefit to the people.

Mhina made the remarks when opening a cross border conservation conference hosted by his district organised by Oikos East Africa, a not for profit conservation group and sponsored by European Union under the framework of a cross border project titled “CONNEKT” (Conserving Neighbouring Ecosystems in Kenya and Tanzania). The African Conservation Centre (ACC) manages the project on the Kenyan side.

“The value of shared cross border resources increase substantially when stakeholders jointly manage the resources across borders, citing the East African Community as a platform for member states to manage shared cross border resources,” Mhina noted.

Mhina however, advised conference participants to operate within the frameworks of the laws and regulations which govern affairs of each country especially because they may vary in many ways. In view of that, the Longido DED asked officials from both countries to consult government officials regularly.

Speaking at the same conference, Senior Park Warden from Amboseli National Park in Kenya, Kenneth Nashuu said the importance of joint efforts to conserve shared cross border resources like wildlife cannot be emphasised.

Nashuu informed participants at the meeting that the elephants, which are found in Amboseli National Park in Kenya, are the same animals found in Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) saying the jumbos move between the two parks every day crossing national borders unnoticed.

When asked why elephants cross national borders every day, the Chief Park Warden of KINAPA, Betrida Loibooki explained that planners in both Kenya and Tanzania failed to consider ecology of the parks when they established boundaries for national parks.

“As a result, national borders and land use activities such as human settlements block daily and seasonal movements of animals leading to human animal conflicts which can become fatal in certain circumstances” Loibooki explained.

In addition, planning to establish national parks without considering the ecology of the areas has created a detrimental psychological rift between law enforcement officers in Kenya and Tanzania. For example, law enforcement officers in Kenya take advantage of the rift to put blame on poachers across the border from Tanzania.

On the other hand, the law enforcement officials in Tanzania put blame on poachers from Kenya which clearly indicates that existing efforts to protect shared natural resources across national borders are inadequate.

The governments of both Kenya and Tanzania have established community based land use systems along animal migratory routes in order to address the problem of human animal conflicts.

The land use systems traverse human settlements, agricultural farms and reserved livestock pastures. The systems are “The Conservancies” in Kenya and the Community Based “Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)” in Tanzania.

The overall aim of the CONNEKT Project is to enhance sustainable livelihoods for people who live along animal migratory routes. In view of that, women entrepreneurs revealed business opportunities, which the CONNEKT Project will create.

After much deliberation, participants at the Conference prepared cross border action plans to implement over the next 12 months.