TOUR operators have launched ‘De-snaring programme’, which aims at fighting against the rampant snares set by local bush meat mongers to catch massive wildlife within the country’s flagship park of Serengeti.
The conservation project has been launched in honour of an outstanding contribution of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in protecting the nature and the tourism sector in general.
Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) Chairman, Mr Willbard Chambulo said that the project is dedication for Mwalimu Nyerere, our revered nation founding father, for his incredible efforts in conservation drive, through which we currently harvest tourists’ dollars.
Snare is a small-scale poaching method targeting wildlife species for bush meat, including the abundant wildebeest. Deadly traps in use, however, catch many other wild animals mostly elephants and predators waylaying the wildebeest.
The project, which is being funded by tourism investors was inaugurated in Arusha, the country’s designated safari capital, during the commemoration of 18th Anniversary of Mwalimu Nyerere death.
Mr Chambulo called upon all tour operators to donate only a dollar to support the Serengeti De-snaring Programme, as part of their appreciations to Mwalimu Nyerere’s outstanding contribution in conservation drive.
“Mwalimu Nyerere had myriad options, but decided to keep abundant natural resources, until we Tanzanians are knowledgeable enough to benefit. He conserved flora and fauna where we are now reaping tourists’ dollars” TATO Chief explained.
Mwalimu Nyerere had left a legacy which today made nature based tourism the top foreign exchange earner in the country as the industry brings home 2.05bn/- US dollars annually, equivalent to 17.2 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Indeed, Tanzania has dedicated nearly 30 per cent of its surface area of 945,203 square kilometers to wildlife conservation, an area bigger than German country, thanks to late Mwalimu Nyerere’s insight.
Serengeti De-snaring project is being implemented by, among key stakeholders in Serengeti such as Frankfurt Zoological Society and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) According to TATO’s Councilor spearheading conservation drive, Ms Vesna Glamocanin Tibaijuka, Serengeti wildlife population is facing yet another deadly threat as local people are silently using snare to catch massive wildlife.
According to Frankfurt Zoological Society Project Manager, Erik Winberg, the De-snaring Programme, which started in Mid-April, 2017 had so far managed to remove 7,331 snares. “The team has discovered 384 animals trapped in Snares of which about 100 were released alive” Mr Winberg told tour operators.
For his part, Serengeti National Park Chief Warden, Mr William Mwakilema said that the park faces 82 shortages of rangers to be able to effectively fight against illegal activities within the park.
Mr Mwakilema also implored tourism investors to try as much as possible to employ unskilled labourers from villages surrounding the Serengeti national park as part of addressing the challenge of bush-meat poaching.