Thursday, February 8, 2018

Why having many national parks in Tanzania and yet no yields

It is an amazing phenomenon for the Parliamentary Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Tourism to have seen that Tanzania 12 national parks which are increasingly becoming a burden to the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). They said in a statement that while there are 16 national parks in the country, only four are making profit and the remaining 12 are dormant. The revelations come at a time when hunting tourism, for instance, has steadily been declining in the past five years. Official figures show that between 2010 and 2015, the sector’s revenue dropped from 23.5million US dollars to 11.2 million US dollars respectively. The “12 parks suffer poor infrastructure and receive inadequate adverts and promotion,” said Ms Kemilembe Lwota, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee. The Committee could not reveal names of the underperforming parks but added that the team had also identified poaching and land disputes to be taking a huge toll on the national parks. “Members were amused with the level at which the national parks authority is engaging locals in ensuring border challenges are solved amicably,” she said. Ms Lwota told parliamentarians that the tourism sector is crucial for the country’s economic development. 


Giraffes at a national park kn Tanzania

The Committee is optimistic that the existence and full-implementation of a comprehensive strategy on all tourist destinations will boost the sector’s contribution. “Tanapa should identify some areas where they can create a mini-zoo. This is chiefly to tourists who run out of time to visit national parks,” she advised. The Bunge Committee expressed concern over the 6.08 million US dollars spent to prepare a comprehensive city master plan of the African Geneva and Tanzania’s tourist hub, Arusha. While the Committee expressed satisfaction of the million dollar project, it urged the same should be rolled out for every city in the country to boost tourism. On poaching, the Committee revealed that wildlife traffickers are developing more devastating techniques which include use of poison, calling the government to frequently adopt new tactics to respond to the global problem. There is “need to provide more sophisticated weapons, communications and strategies and establishing a special task force to fight poachers.” The Committee approved use of para-military personnel in surveying and guarding the world’s famous national parks. It equally urged the Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry to involve wananchi surrounding the parks in the war against poa

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