Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tanzania to sign pact to curb poaching in southern regions

THE Government is on the move to sign pact with neighboring countries of Zambia and Mozambique with a view to protect elephant poaching which has become rampant in the country.  The Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources Lazaro Nyalandu revealed on Thursday night last week in Dar es Salaam at a cocktail party organized to congratulate an awareness campaign against wildlife poaching in Tanzania which was launched earlier in the morning. The campaign called the “Wildlife Pride” is a collaborative effort between the government and the Wild Aid as well as the African Wildlife Foundation organizations.  The campaign also involves religious leaders and local celebrities like former Miss Tanzania Jacqueline Mengi, artist Ali Kiba, Venessa Mdee and former NBA player Hasheem Thabeet. In his speech, Nyalandu noted that, the government is underway to sign the pact with the two countries with the aim to help prevent illegal across border trade of the precious ivory tusks. The pact would also involve the exchange of suspected criminals involved in illegal ivory  trade, a move that would also help get hold of the suspected poachers with ease. He said that, some poachers get free access to do illegal business in southern regions of Lindi and Mtwara, Ruvuma, Morogoro which are located closer to Selou game reserve and Mbeya and Iringa which are closer to the biggest and leading Ruaha National park and Miombo Woodlands. The two national reserves have been providing a hideout for poachers who do their mischief and make their escape through to the neighbouring countries of Zambia and Mozambique and some parts around lake Nyasa bordering Malawi. However, he noted that in order to curb the escalating phenomenon, Tanzania is planning to sign pact with these two countries a move that is anticipated to stop illegal cross border elephant tusks. Minister Nyalandu said that since the government embarked on the anti-poaching drive five years ago between 2009 and 2014, his ministry has successfully managed to curb the vice that has proved at a considerable high rate of performance. Giving out statistics, the Minister who currently is vying for the highest top most position in the country said that, in Tarangire national park there has been an increase of elephants population by 66 percent, whereas in Serengeti national park there has been an increase of 98 percent. He further noted that, there has been an increase of elephant population at Selous game reserve between 2013 and 2014 whereby about 38,200 have increased tremendously. The occasion was attended by the three country diplomats of the US, German and China whose governments together have pledged to give support over the on-going fight against poachers in the country. The three Ambassadors Mark Childress of USA, Egon Konchanke of German and Lu. You Qing of China made a pledge in their key note address and have also supported the government’s move towards eradicating the phenomenon. Home to one of the largest concentrations of African elephants on the continent, Tanzania has emerged as a poaching hotspot. A recent report suggests that Tanzania is the largest source of poached ivory in the world.

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