Human-wildlife conflicts team embarks on tour of 10 regions

05Oct 2021
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Human-wildlife conflicts team embarks on tour of 10 regions

​​​​​​​A HIGH powered team of eight cabinet ministers recently convened by President Samia Suluhu Hassan to address human-wildlife conflicts in ten regions comprising 920 villages near protected areas across the country began the task yesterday.

William Lukuvi.

The team, which involves eight ministers in sectors like Agriculture, Water, Defense, Environment, Housing and Settlements, Natural Resources and Tourism as well as Livestock and Fisheries, will tour all the ten regions.

William Lukuvi, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development told journalists in the capital yesterday said the team will tour Dodoma, Singida, Manyara, Tabora, Mbeya, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, Coast, Mara and Geita.

He said the task began yesterday and will run up to October 20 where the team will give a report to the president on the way forward. In Dodoma they will visit Chemba and Kondoa districts, tour Mkungunero area which has been earmarked for an illustrative case, he said.

Preliminary information shows that the 920 villages are close to protected areas and were being invaded by animals while the villagers invade protected areas. The government decided not to remove them from those areas, but a few of them will be removed following assessments showing the areas are dangerous for their safety, he stated.

"This is an opportunity for regional leaders to report if there is a major crisis in their areas. We are going to end the conflicts reported in 920 villages whose residents will not leave those areas soon," he said.

Assessments of those conflicts would be conducted in high-risk areas in Morogoro and Mbeya regions, where the president has ordered that the areas be left for agricultural and livestock activities, he explained.

After the president's decision they will go to assess which areas remain and which settlements should be removed despite that many such settlements are expected to remain in place, he elaborated.

Regional administration ought to prevent invasions from taking place in protected areas, he stated, noting that this exercise will not be done regularly in which case residents must obey the law.

Commenting on the World Habitat Day, the minister said rapid urbanization is a phenomenon that continues in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania.

Urban growth is a catalyst for economic, social, political and cultural growth but urban sprawl and population growth, if not managed properly, can be a source of environmental degradation.

This problem faces developing countries with a large proportions located in unplanned settlements without basic services like road infrastructure, clean water and sewage systems, or poor solid waste management, he declared.

It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of urban dwellers in the country live in unplanned settlements where they face the risk of pollution due to poor sanitation, sewage and traffic congestion. Extensive use of charcoal and wood as the main source of domestic energy exacerbates the problem, he pointed out.

Recognizing this relationship, the government is readying the houses and buildings census across the country, to be conducted in conjunction with the Population and Housing Census set for August next year, he emphasised.

"This census will help to determine the number and status of housing units, enabling the government and other stakeholders in housing development to take appropriate measures to improve housing in urban and rural areas," he said.

Housing stakeholders, especially urban dwellers, need to support these government efforts to reduce and ultimately eradicate air pollution by 2050, he added