The villagers are those from Nankanga, Ilemba and Ng’ongo villages. The training is offered by Shared Resources, Joint Solutions (SRJS) with the support from IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands and WWF Netherlands.
SRJS programme coordinator, Andrew Mariki said recently when speaking at a training on natural resource conservation, gender equality issues, land rights and land use planning held at Nankanga and Ilemba villages in the region.
“We are training them on how to conserve water sources because some of the sources flow direct into Lake Rukwa which serves different national parks, game reserves as well as surrounding communities,” he noted.
Mariki was concerned that some of the water sources have dried due to deforestation which is largely fuelled with charcoal making, agricultural activities and cattle grazing.
He insisted on the need to conserve the water sources since the lake may dry-up in the next 10 to 20 years.
He said that SRJS has provided capacity building trainings to village environment committees to help members understand their role and responsibilities in environmental management as well as be able to train their fellow villagers.
“We are working to ensure that Lake Rukwa continues to serve people…almost 70 per cent of its water serves various national parks, game reserves and communities in both Rukwa and Katavi regions,” he said.
Mariki said that residents using the water are in a danger of being affected by mercury that gets into Lake Rukwa through mining activities conducted by artisanal miners near the lake.
He said that his organisation has partnered with Lawyer’s Environmental Action Team (LEAT), ActionAid Tanzania and Haki Ardhi to educate the villagers on the impact of conducting mining activities along the lake.
He said to ensure the exercise successfully, they also work with local government leaders from the surrounding villages of Nsimbo, Mpimbwe, Kalambo and Sumbawanga district council.
Currently the project is being implemented in Nankanga, Ilemba, Ilalanguru, Mirumba, Kalaela, Sitalike, Matandalani, Majimoto, Ilambila and Ng’ongo villages in both regions.
“By conserving water sources, we also help the villagers to combat climate change, improve biodiversity, ensure equal water distribution and food security”, Mariki said noting they have been working with the villagers in Katavi and Rukwa regions since 2017.