Mwanza — About 500 wildlife conservators will be employed next fiscal year as part of the country's strategy to reduce shortage of staff, which is impeding wildlife and natural resources management.
Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Mr Lazaro Nyarandu, said here over the weekend that Tanzania was looking forward to deploying highly skilled personnel along with the establishment of the designed wildlife authority.
He said the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) had already been established by Government Notice number 135 of May, this year, tasked with a number of obligations including reshaping wildlife management and conservation.
"Employment of highly skilled wildlife conservators is important as we establish this authority whose vision is to become a centre of excellence in wildlife law enforcement.
So it is crucial that we deploying a workforce that meets this vision," he said. The minister was speaking shortly after he had officiated at a Pasiansi Wildlife Training Institute (PWTI) graduation ceremony that saw 373 paramilitary trainees graduating in different fields.
According to the minister, wildlife conservation activities countrywide had encountered a number of challenges, from poaching to massive destruction of natural resources, challenging the institute to address them as well.
He said Tanzania would keep mobilizing more resources, both financial and material, to ensure its wildlife resources were secured and maintained.
He said some partners had committed to support the country on that mission, pledging to equip it with high tech equipment such as helicopters for regular patrols in search of criminals and gangs sabotaging the country's wildlife resources.
Minister Nyarandu said the Pasiansi Institute would be transformed into a centre of excellence in wildlife training, adding that it had recently submitted its reviewed curriculum to the National Council for Technical Education for certification and approval.
PWTI Principal, Ms Lowaeli Damalu, said the trainees were awarded with Basic Certificates in Wildlife Management (BTCWM) and Technician Certificates in Wildlife Management (TCWM).
She said the pass rate in examinations had increase by 25 percent on average this year as the trainees learnt that the government planned to offer them direct employment upon completion of their programmes.
"The trainees have passed well in subjects such as conservation education and communication skills, wildlife management, ballistics and military training, law enforcement, ornithology and wildlife statistics," she said.
The graduates called for the possibility of supplying them with modern arms such as submachine guns, AK 47 and light machine guns during the field training since they were the ones often used by poachers to sabotage wildlife resources including the killing of elephants and rhinos.