According to GIZ-Tanzania project advisor Philemon Mneney, the agency has donated 100 modern beehives under the Sustainable Natural Resource Management programme to five women’s development groups formed in villages surrounding the Enguserosambu community forest in Loliondo.
Further donations from GIZ include special honey harvesting equipment, kits and uniforms for forest guards and rangers in Ngorongoro district, all valued at 48 million/-, Mneney said.
The Enguserosambu forest is billed as an important source of all the springs that provide water to the Serengeti National Park, as well as Lake Natron mapped within both Longido and Ngorongoro districts of Arusha.
Mneney said GIZ’s objective in assisting local women groups in the area is to boost household incomes and ensure that beekeeping activities and related honey business will help to protect the forest and other surrounding natural vegetation.
“Historically bees are natural forest protectors; they enviously guard the trees and plants that happen to be both their habitat and source of honey-making nectars,” he explained, further pointing out that when forests are used for economic activities such as honey production, the local residents will also protect such natural resources.
“As local women venture into the forest to collect dried twigs for firewood, they can also at the same time tender to beehives and harvest honey when the time is ripe,” he said.
GIZ’s view is that once forests are kept busy with environment friendly activities, illegal loggers or poachers will be kept at bay and this will help protect such important natural resources.