According to the tournament's organizers wild dogs are about to extinct all over the continent, but surprisingly, the ferocious carnivores can be abundantly spotted in Loliondo area.
“That is why we have formed the special ‘Mbwa Mwitu Cup’ to help raise awareness of wild dogs in Tanzania,” Philemon Mneney, the Natural Resource Management’s Project Advisor for German International Cooperation agency (GIZ) that facilitated the debut tournament, disclosed.
The week-long tournament's final, played in Loliondo, ended with Kurugenzi FC from Wasso trouncing Loliondo FC 3-0 with all three goals scored within the first half of the game.
Ngorongoro District Commissioner, Rashid Taka, said the ‘Mbwa Mwitu Cup’ will not only raise awareness among the youths to assist in wildlife conservation efforts but also play a major role of helping the area form its own district team.
Champions Kurugenzi FC went home with 700,000/- in cash as well as soccer ball, while runners-up Loliondo FC got 500,000/- and a ball and the third-placed team, Digodigo FC, pocketed 300,000/- and a soccer ball.
In addition to presenting cash prize to winning teams, the German International Cooperation agency donated soccer kits to all 10 teams of Loliondo and Sale divisions of Ngorongoro District.
Meanwhile, with the protection of Serengeti Ecosystem becoming a matter of global concern, the GIZ has stepped in to assist in the conservation of water sources in the precinct including the Serengeti and the flamingo breeding Ramsar site surrounding Lake Natron.
Through the Sustainable Natural Resource Management, the GIZ has also donated a total of 100 modern beehives to five women development groups formed by residents of villages surrounding the Enguserosambu Community Forest in Loliondo Division.
GIZ has also donated special honey harvesting equipment including special kits and uniforms, in addition to providing 32 pairs of uniforms to forests guards as well as 25 sets of uniforms for rangers in Ngorongoro District, all valued at 48m/-.
Enguserosambu Forest is billed as an important source of all springs pumping water into the Serengeti National Park as well as Lake Natron mapped within both Longido and Ngorongoro Districts of Arusha.
Project Advisor from GIZ-Tanzania, Mneney, said they have decided to assist local women groups in the area to boost household incomes as well as ensuring that beekeeping activities and related honey business will help to protect the forest and other surrounding natural growth.
“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,” Mneney disclosed, adding 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 double the activities for tendering their beehives and harvesting honey when the time is ripe,” he said.