By Waryoba Yankami
Following the increasing wave of elephant poaching in Tanzania, the government has conducted a census to establish the population of wildlife and expects to announce the results this week.
Results of the census on elephants will be released in Dar es Salaam tomorrow by the Tourism and Natural Resources Deputy Minister, Lazaro Nyalandu.
All stakeholders in the tourism sector are invited to attend the function so as to have a clear picture of the number of elephants in the country.
The results are expected to give a clear picture on the actual population of elephants in the country.
A press statement issued on Tuesday by the ministry’s spokesman, Chikambi Rumisha, said the census was conducted in October and November last year.
It said the deputy minister will meet all Ambassadors, High Commissioners representing their countries in Tanzania and other stakeholders in the country’s tourism sector.
According to Rumisha, the elephant census was conducted in Selous, Mikumi and Ruaha-Rungwa national parks.
Last month Nyalandu told journalists that at least 60 elephants were reported to have been killed in the country’s national parks and game reserves after suspension of the operation to eliminate poachers and those behind the ivory trade.
Dubbed ‘Tokomeza Ujangili’, the operation culminated in the sacking of four cabinet ministers, including tourism minister Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki. This happened a week ago, several days after the operation had been suspended in early November last year.
Other ministers who were involved in the operation and were sucked by the President Dr Mathayo David Mathayo (Livestock Development), Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi (Home Affairs) and Shamsi Vuai Nahodha (Defence and National Service).
The report on the operation was tabled by the Standing Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Environment under the chairmanship of James Lembeli (Kahama, CCM).