That was among the resolutions reached in Mlele District, Katavi region, during the pass-out ceremony of more than 280 members of staff for the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA); Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA); Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) and the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), that have just completed their paramilitary training.
Speaking at the Mlele centre yesterday, Major General Khamis Semfukwe explained that global warming, or climate change and their related negative effects are being propelled by series of environmental destructive human activities.
Maj Gen. Semfukwe was on view that when people invade forests and nature reserves to illegally harvest trees and plundering other plants or poach wildlife, eventually the country loses its green cover, rains disappear and drought hits the nation as a result of the impacts of global warming.
“That is why it is now important to equip our paramilitary personnel with real weapons, especially firearms, because poachers and other criminals targeting natural reserves are usually armed to the teeth with modern artillery,” he pointed out.
“So, essentially we are now compelled to deploy real and modern firearms to combat global warming and climate change effects, because when faced with poachers or illegal loggers, our rangers need to be well equipped since their nemeses are well protected and ready to kill,” said the Major General.
During the occasion, the graduands were presented with certificates as representatives from their conservation institutions looked on, among them Assangye Bangu of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area; William Mwakilema from TANAPA, James Wakibara the Director General for TAWA and Khamis Semfuko of the TFS.
The intake 280 paramilitary training for conservation personnel started their courses at Mlele last May and completed on 16th of August 2019. They were practical and theoretical subjects on weaponry, parade, physical exercise; global positioning system; digital and ordinary map reading; conservation; basic law and immigration procedures as well as anti-graft.
Out of the 280 graduands who passed-out at Mlele, there were also 194 rangers among them 97 females.The intake also featured training of trainers in which 28 teachers from TAWA, TANAPA and TFS graduated among them 7 female teachers.
The chairman of TFS advisory board Brigadier General Baraka Mkeremi pointed out that all the four organisations operating under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, that is TFS, NCAA, TAWA and TANAPA have over 7000 employees.
“They all need to be initiated into paramilitary system of conservation which will not only make them ready to face all challenges coming with the task of protecting natural resources and wildlife, but also cultivate them into new tradition of maintaining discipline while also prioritize issues of conservation ahead of everything else,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Katavi regional Commissioner, the Tanganyika District Commissioner, Salehe Muhando, appealed to the government to transform the Mlele training centre into fully-fledged paramilitary training Centre for conservation workers and other state officials.