TEDDY James is a new environmental conservation ambassador who is dedicated to ensure that the nature of the Serengetiecosystem is protected and conserved for present and coming generations.
The 17 year-old girl fell in love with conservation issues after attending an environmental conservation conference held at Issenye Secondary School in Serengeti District from June 3-5 this year.
About 144 young men and women who are secondary students from Mara and Simiyu regions attended the conference that coincided with commemorations of the Word Environment Day that is marked June 5 every year.
Teddy has vowed to start providing environmental conservation education to her fellow students and other members of the community.
“We have learnt how to conserve the environment and the benefits of conservation. After this conference I will go to sensitize my colleagues to protect and conserve environment. I will, for example, show them how to manage waste and the aspect of recycling,” Teddy told the ‘Daily News’ at the sidelines of the conference.
Teddy, a Form Four student at Rigicha Secondary School in Serengeti District cited the use of dust bins in waste management as one of the essential components that the communities should give priority to keep the environment clean.
On his part, Wambura Jumanne, another Form Four student from Hunyari secondary school in Bunda District said the annual environmental conservation conference has brought positive change on environmental conservation in the local areas.
“For example we have done a lot on protection and conservation of water sources as well as planting many trees, which are environmental friendly in public places. We have also been imparting environmental education to the community, “ Jumanne said.
The conference has been targeting secondary school students located near Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves in Bunda and Serengeti districts of Mara Region. It was initiated by Singita Grumeti four years ago as part of the investor’s efforts to protect and conserve the nature of the great Serengeti eco-system.
But this year, the conference was organised by Mali Hai Club of Tanzania Lake Zone Office with the support of Singita Grumeti and several other partners including, Frankfurt Zoological Society (FSZ), and Giz of Germany.
Mali Hai Club of Tanzania is a section which operates under wildlife department in the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Mr Fred Stephen, the Coordinator of Mali Hai Club of Tanzania in Lake Zone Office said major objective of the conference is to provide conservation education to the students.
He describes Singita Grumeti as a major partner supporting the initiative especially in areas around the Ikorongo/Grumeti game reserves which form important part of the Serengeti eco-system.
“It is Singita Grumeti which initiated the conference here four years ago with the interest of conserving Ikorongo/ Grumeti Game reserves . This year the conference has been coordinated by Mali Hai Club of Tanzania Lake Zone office. Still Singita Grumeti is our major sponsor ,’’ Mr Stephen said.
The 5th conference, he said, was attended by 144 students majority of them from Bunda and Serengeti districts. “120 students came from Serengeti and Bunda districts and 24 came from some districts in Simiyu Region”, he said . Those who attended the conference include 56 secondary school teachers, 44 of them from Bunda and Serengeti districts and the remaining 12 came from Simiyu Region.
On the last day of the conference, the participants were given an opportunity to visit and view wild animals within the Serengeti ecosystem.
Ms Amina Mgalilwa, a teacher from Rigicha Secondary School said the annual environmental conservation has made many students good ambassadors of conservation and suggested that the organizers should plan to include participants from all districts of the Lake Zone .
“Many students are becoming good ambassadors of environmental conservation and we would like to urge other organizations to join hands with Singita Grumeti, ” Ms Mgalilwa said.
She observes that imparting conservation knowledge to youth is important for sustainable conservation.