By Carolyne Madoshi
Uranium investors in the Selous Game Reserve have proposed a campaign on anti-poaching in order to rescue elephants in distress.
Speaking to The Guardian on Monday in Dar es Salaam, the Senior Vice President of UraniumOne Africa, Frank Russo-Bello said currently they are working in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to ensure key players are involved in designing anti-poaching strategies.
“We want all players to be involved in the anti-poaching campaign whereby a memorandum of understanding is currently being drafted to state how the players will engage in implementing the strategies,” Russo-Bello said.
On social responsibility of the mines, he said a dialogue was made to address the community needs whereby poaching and creation of employment were the main concerns.
He called on Mkuju river residents to grab hold of opportunities and start up business ventures that would complement the mines such as farming, poultry and tailoring.
However, he emphasized that the businesses should be sustainable even after completion of the project.
According to the Managing Director of Mantra Tanzania Limited Asa Mwaipopo, some youths in the area are undergoing training in uranium mining such as radiation at Moshi Integrated Mining technology in order to increase employment opportunities in the subsector.
Currently, Mkuju River Project is focused on licensing and permitting. An application for a special mining license has been submitted to the Tanzanian authorities.
Last year, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage Committee approved an application by the Tanzanian government for a minor adjustment to the boundary of the Selous Game Reserve, removing the Mkuju River Project and an adjacent buffer zone from the Selous Game Reserve World Heritage Site.
In the meantime, additional exploration work on the project is being conducted in the area of the expected special mining project, and a definitive feasibility study relating to the project is being prepared.