DC aghast as cattle herders, miners invade Nyerere Park

02Dec 2021
The Guardian
DC aghast as cattle herders, miners invade Nyerere Park

​​​​​​​ULANGA District authorities are raising alarm over increased invasive incidents in the Julius Nyerere National Park (JNNP) including large herds of cattle, mining and rampant fishing, threatening key water sources.

Ngolo Malenya.

District Commissioner Ngolo Malenya explained this situation in a  press conference following an impromptu aerial patrol in the national park, as the biggest in the country and across the world, where he affirmed that disruptions in water catchment areas adds to threats of water shortages in urban areas and power generation.

After the patrol, the DC who is also the chairman of the district’s defence and security committee spoke to workers of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) at Matambwe in the park area.

He pointed at considerable destruction going on in the park, asking those engaged in economic activities in the park to immediately dislodge from the zone before law enforcement is brought to bear upon them fully.

During the aerial patrol officers noticed other activities like wildlife poaching, wanton tree cutting, charcoal making and trapping of wild animals, he stated, noting that the district authorities will not accept this situation to continue.

People are destroying natural resources in the Julius Nyerere National Park, he said, issuing what he said was the last warning to stop those activities inside the park, “and in this regard Ulanga district authorities will have no mercy to any person found to disregard this directive.”

Ulanga District is a big stakeholder in the hydropower project in the area, from the many rivers passing the district emptying their waters to Rufiji River, thereby contributing 62 to 60 per cent of all the water that goes to generate electricity. The district authorities will make sure they protect these water sources from wanton destruction, he declared.

The park covers nearly all of Ulanga District, having an abundance of wildlife including large herds of elephants, crocodiles and hippos apart from wild dogs which experts say they are in danger of extinction, the DC indicated, affirming that they have to be protected for future generations.

For his part, JNNP senior conservationist Seth Mihayo said that poaching was a major challenge in the park but TANAPA protects the natural resources with constant patrols.

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