Activists from Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT), Action Aid and HAKIARDHI civil society organizations made the call when speaking to reporters during CSO’s week which is being held in Dodoma.
Land use plan coordinator for shared resources, joint solutions initiative (SRJS), Nakamo Tenende said Lake Sundu which lies along the Rukwa-Katavi landscape is also a wildlife corridor but in recent years, large part of it is experiencing deforestation and other illegal activities such as illegal fishing which have resulted in further environmental degradation.
He said the area is facing unsustainable farming practices, such as slash and burn activities, charcoal production and illegal logging are destroying forests and important wildlife habitats.
As such, Tenende called for continued efforts on proper conservation of the Nine-square kilometers Lake to ensure local communities secure ecosystem base, benefit from adequate water supply, climate change resilience, ensure biodiversity for improved livelihoods and guarantee food security.
He said that according to the local communities and the elders of that area, the ‘Magic’ Lake deserves to be a tourist attraction point as it has many miracles such as a camp of only one big Hippo which if removed, the Lake tend to show signs of drying up. The Lake also has huge stone which habours big pythons which normally appear on the tone.
Commenting on the conservation efforts already done by the three NGO’s, Tenende explained that land use plans have been successfully conducted and more than 400 Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy (CCRO’s) are in the final stages of being completed for the four villages of Kifone, Ilambila, Kamawe and Kalaela. The ongoing process of finalizing the CCRO’s also takes into consideration gender and people with disabilities.
The project has managed to establish 12 environmental schools for the purpose of discussing, sharing knowledge and experience on how best they can sustainably manage natural resources in their own surrounding. Furthermore, three villages have managed to set aside village land forest reserves (VLFR’s) with 400 hectares each.
So far, the project has reached out and capacitated more than seven thousands villagers in natural resource management and launched water users Association at Lwiche Catchment.
The long term goal of the SRJS initiative is to secure ecosystem-based International Public Goods in particular, water provisioning, food security, climate change resilience and biodiversity, for improved livelihoods.