Directors of Mwiba Holdings, Michel Allard and Pratik Patel said the company has also spent billions of shillings for conservation, security in the area and corporate social responsibility.
“This amount of money has been paid to the district and nine villages of Maswa who we have an agreement with,” said Allard whose company is credited with successfully managing to fight against elephant poaching.
He said the company which engages in tourist lodging, photography and conservation has invested heavily in the area which was almost barren in 2008 when the initial agreement was signed.
“At the peak of poaching in 2008/9 season, 80 elephants were slaughtered by poachers, our efforts have reduced that significantly,” Allard whose company lost a pilot and a helicopter last month in a poachers attack, said.
He vowed to continue working in partnership with law abiding Maswa communities, district and regional officials to protect nature which is not only benefiting everyone in terms of income but also assuring future generations of better living conditions.
“Through corporate social responsibility we have invested in education, health, water, infrastructure and also provide jobs to people in the area where we operate,” the Mwiba Holdings Director noted saying some vested interests seeking to mine copper in conservation and elephant poachers are against his company.
On his part, Patel said Mwiba Holdings is committed to conservation and protection of wildlife in Maswa and other parts of the country where it operates. “Our latest investment to support the community through a modern dispensary built at Buturi village,” Patel noted while warning that huge herds of cattle from outside Maswa district are grazing within Maswa game reserve and Makao WMA.
Through African Wildlife Trust (AWT) and Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF), Allard and Patel have mobilised funds both locally and in the US to fund conservation activities.
Through Mwiba Holdings subsidiaries of Tanzania Game Tracker Safaris Limited and Wengert Windrose Safaris Limited, the two directors have managed to run successful anti poaching campaigns and environmental conservation in the Northern tourist enclave.
Maswa District Commissioner, Erasto Sima acknowledged the important role being played by Mwiba Holdings in the district stressing that the district has benefitted a lot from the company’s tourism and conservation activities.
“We only hope that the company and its partner villages including Makao will restore normal relations and continue to work together,” Sima who pointed out the downing of the company’s chopper last month by poachers has caused a rift in relations between the two parties.