By Ludovick Kazoka, Rose Athumani
The government has urged the general public to join hands to fight against elephant poaching whose rate of loss is now alarming.
Speaking during the National Elephant Day in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Amb. Khamis Kagasheki, said joint effort was vital for combating the poaching menace.
“So far the number of arrested poachers has been increasing thanks to tip-offs from good citizens,” noted the minister in a speech read on his behalf by Head of the Wildlife Department in the ministry, Prof Alexander Songorwa.
The National Elephant Day was organised by the Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA) of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) in collaboration with the ministry. According to UDSM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Yunus Mgaya, the National Elephant Day was introduced by the department in order to raise public awareness by showing the threats facing the elephant population in Africa.
“Using research and knowledge UDSM, through IRA, has a role to protect wildlife in the country,” he said. Tanzania is home to the second largest population of African elephants, second only to Botswana.
Prof Mgaya pointed out that the National Elephant Day, which was marked for the first time in the country, would be an ideal platform for Tanzanians and other conservative stakeholders to share ideas and informed policies on how best to protect the remaining elephants. More....