Pingos Forum’s Executive Director, Edward Porokwa said last week that the Hadzabe community in Yaeda Valley are now official owners of the massive forest land after his not-for-profit organization teamed up with Ujamaa Community Resource Team to facilitate the exercise.
“We coordinated the exercise of surveying and processing for the traditional title deeds in collaboration with Arusha based Ujamaa Community Resource Team,” Porokwa said noting that the Hadzabe had been facing an eviction threat by developers.
“The acquisition of the traditional land title deed means that the 100,000ha are now officially owned by the Hadzabe community hence don’t face any threat of eviction by farming communities,” he said while pointing out that the hunter-gatherers are good environmental conservationists as they don’t destroy wildlife.
The Pingos Forum chief executive further added that the Hadzabe are themselves facing extinction as modernism is taking over part of their virgin land which is also useful for beekeeping as their main staple food also includes honey.
He added that Pingos Forum is currently sensitizing the group on modern life so that gradually the hunter-gatherers can be integrated into the modern community and leave the abyss. “For the Hadzabe land is a very important factor because they survive on hunting, fruit gathering and honey which all needs virgin forest land,” Porokwa noted adding as part of the transformation journey, Pingos gave the Hadzabe a milling machine worth 2.8m/- to process maize into flour targeting 3,000 people.
Pingos Administrative Manager, Emmanuel Saringe said the organization gave the Hadzabe 60 modern beehives worth 10.8m/- this month while 50m/- was donated to support construction of a medical doctor’s house and clean water supply at Yaeda Chini ward.
“The beehives have capacity to generate 20 kilograms of honey and hopefully this will stop them from leading a nomadic life. But we also have plans to give them honey processing machines so that they should start adding value to the commodity and sell the surplus to other consumers in the market,” Saringe noted saying Pingos also has plans to brand the Hadzabe’s honey.
Pingos which was established to defend rights of minority communities facing threats of eviction from their lands, also operates in Arusha, Dodoma, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Mara, Morogoro, Pwani, Simiyu, Singida, Shinyanga and Tanga.