Kilwa youth all out to promote, conserve Lake Maliwe and Maliwe forest

19Aug 2021
Beatrice Philemon
The Guardian
Kilwa youth all out to promote, conserve Lake Maliwe and Maliwe forest

YOUTH in Kilwa District, Lindi Region have embarked on a new campaign to promote and conserve Lake Maliwe and Maliwe village forest reserve as tourist attractions.

The group’s General Secretary Said Mkoba, said the training provided by ActionAid Kilwa has helped in changing the mind-set of youth as many of them have now joined the group.

The two are located in Ngea village, some 78 kilometres from Kilwa District Council in the region.

Maliwe Taaluma Group, Deputy Secretary, Karim  Kilunda  told  journalists that they have also secured five hectares of land for construction of camps and lodges along the Lake.

Journalists visited Lake Maliwe together with ActionAid Tanzania staff to see some of the measures taken to their concerns as they strive to accomplish their desired mission.

Kilunda said they aim at generating revenues from eco-tourism activities and help communities living close to the forest and lake to benefit from conservation activities.

“Doors are open for potential local and foreign investors, construction of camps and lodges would provide a good shelter for tourists,” said Kilunda.

He said villagers are also conducting beekeeping activities at the forest, appealing for support from donors to train villagers on modern beekeeping methods.

He said  the beekeeping project was introduced  as part of efforts o protect the Lake.

He commended ActionAid Kilwa for providing them with training on leadership, social entrepreneurship skills and how to use opportunities available within their localities.

He said the training has helped them to properly manage the conservation projects.

The group leader noted that Lake Maliwe is endowed with hippopotamus, crocodile, fish, bird species and seven islands.

Maliwe forest reserve is a home to indigenous trees species which are suitable for medicinal and research purposes.

He said villagers are not allowed to harvest the trees since they are purposely conserved to protect the Lake.

He said the conservation activities are meant to control human activities in the forest such as agriculture, illegal logging, timber production and cattle grazing.

The group’s General Secretary Said Mkoba said the group was established in 2019 with 19 members.

He said the training provided by ActionAid Kilwa has helped in changing the mind-set of youth as many of them have now joined the group.

“We now want to be trained on environmental conservation to be able to conduct our activities professionally,” he said, adding youth also need to be educated on how to establish three nurseries as well as its management.

He said some of the wild animals that disappeared from the forest have now started to come back. They are elephant, lion, tiger and several others.

One of the group members, Fadhili Kumbenda called upon Kilwa district council to construct the road to facilitate smooth transportation services for tourists.

Kilwa District Executive Director, Abushiri Mbwana, said they are consulting the Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) for construction of the road.

Mbwana said the district is also supporting the villagers in promoting the tourists attractions as the increased number of tourists would also boost revenue collections.

“We will ensure they operate their activities effectively, we are also assisting them to find investors for construction of accommodation facilities,” he said

He said they are working closely with the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) to identify other tourist attractions within the district.