Dodoma — Following threats brought by the dramatic increase of crocodiles in Lukuledi river on the lives of villagers in Masasi and Ruangwa districts, the government has announced plans to systematically rear the animals to protect humans.
Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu said on Tuesday in the National Assembly that the government is set to announce the tender later this year for crocodile farms to take up the task.
The minister was responding to a question by Special Seats member of Parliament, Ms Clara Mwatuka. The legislator had challenged the government to explain comprehensive plans being implemented by the government to protect the villagers who are threatened by an increasing number of crocodiles in the river.
She said the villagers have been victims of the number of crocodiles where several people have been injured and several others killed. "There were no boreholes that villagers could go fetch water and instead they got water from the river. In addition, villagers had to cross from one area to another especially for farming activities.
What is the government doing about that?" She queried. In response, the minister said the government will commission the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) to establish the number of crocodiles as well as the capacity of the river before the harvesting exercise.
"We will ask TAWIRI to redefine the situation of crocodiles in the river and to evaluate the status of security along areas with harsh wildlife such as crocodiles and jumbos," he said.
The minister however identified that his ministry will dispatch a team of Game warden to strengthen security along the Lukuledi river which borders between Lindi and Mtwara region. TAWIRI is a parastatal organization under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism responsible for conducting and coordinating wildlife research in the United Republic Tanzania.
They carry out and coordinate wildlife research with an overall objective of providing scientific information and advice to the government and wildlife management authorities on the sustainable conservation of wildlife, consonant with the national vision 2025, that is sustainable conservation of natural resources.
He said it was established by Act of Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania No. 4 of 1980, under the name "Serengeti Wildlife Research Institute" (SWRI), with the overall responsibility of carrying out, coordinating and supervising all wildlife research in the country.
The original name of the Institute was changed from SWRI to TAWIRI in 1999, by the Act of Parliament No.10, to give its broader meaning and mandate on wildlife research throughout the country.
He said the headquarter of the Institute is located at Njiro, Arusha and comprises of four Research Centres in various locations namely Mahale- Gombe Wildlife Research Centre in Gombe National Park, Kingupira Wildlife Research Centre in Selous Game Reserve, Njiro Wildlife Research Centre in Njiro and Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre in Serengeti National Park.
In addition to these centres, the Institute has five research stations namely, Endala (Manyara National Park), Lower Kihansi (Kilombero District), Magugu (Babati District), West Kilimanjaro (Hai District) and Tabora (Tabora Municipal).