By Kilasa Mtambalike
Lack of mandate by local authorities to supervise activities in the Selous Game Reserve and forests in Kisarawe district in Coast region is said to be among the reasons for enduring poaching and poor promotion of tourism in the area.
Residents and authorities alike say the area’s forests alone could be a source of ecotourism which would in turn encourage people to preserve them while part of the Selous Game Reserve that falls in the district could be used to attract tourists and fight poaching.
Kisarawe District Council chairman, Mr Adam Ng’imba and the District Natural Resources Officer, Mr Edfas Bayela respectively have admitted that they are not aware of how many tourists visited the area last year and the extent of poaching.
Residents, including a former poacher, however, are of the opinion that poaching is a very serious problem and some blame the government for neglecting parts of the reserve that fall in Kisarawe district. A recent report indicates Tanzania is losing around 70 elephants a day to poachers, with around half of the country’s elephants slaughtered in just the last three years.
“We do not have any mandate over the part of the reserve in our district, we are only considered stakeholders. We only receive 20 per cent of the revenue collected by the central government from various activities in the reserve,” said Mr Ng’imba. More....