‘Take part in environmental conservation initiatives to end human-wildlife conflicts’

By Gideon Mwakanosya , The Guardian
Published at 06:22 AM Jun 21 2024
Tunduru District Commissioner Simon Chacha
Photo: Guardian Correspondent
Tunduru District Commissioner Simon Chacha

TUNDURU District Commissioner Simon Chacha has urged residents living near national parks and other protected areas to take part in environmental conservation initiatives to improve nature and reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

According to Chacha, if residents living near protected areas do not take time to learn about the nature of the areas and what they need to do to live peacefully, human-wildlife conflicts will not end.

He made the call here yesterday during recognition of organizations that strive to improve lives of people near protected areas as well as promote conservation.

“Despite efforts of the government and stakeholders to heighten conservation and reduce human-wildlife conflicts, residents themselves have a role to spend time and learn more on conservation issues as well as wildlife,” he said.

Chacha said residents, especially farmers, should learn methods such as the use of chilli fences, which is a non-aggressive method to dissuade elephants from entering populated and cultivated areas.

“We must continue to advocate for stronger environmental protection and sustainable practices at local, national and international levels. By working together, sharing our knowledge and supporting each other’s initiatives, we can achieve far more than we ever could alone,” he said.

Kaloko Kassim, a teacher at Liganga Secondary School in Kalulu Village, said that awareness on wildlife protection and environmental conservation has greatly increased among pupils and the school community in general, thanks to contributions of non-state actors collaborating with the government.

Siwema Matete, a resident of Rahaleo Village in the district thanked efforts of the government and stakeholders which helped reduce human-wildlife conflicts in the village.

“Currently the situation has stabilised; incidents of wild animals invading our settlements and farms have declined hence enabling us to increase crop production and improve lives,” she said.