Poaching has been a thorn in the flesh, not only for Tanzania, but the world as a whole as it threatens wildlife with extinction.
It remains an open secret that the government has been in the forefront in fighting this social anomaly that affects wildlife rich areas of the country.
And, reports that a covert anti-poaching operation, dubbed Spider Net, and the arrest of some of the big traders in ivory is bearing fruit, could not have come at a better time than this.
Poverty and ignorance among locals living in areas surrounding national parks and game reserves have for a long time been mentioned as some of the major causes for continued poaching of wild animals in the country.
The good news, however, is that covert intelligence-led operations to protect elephants and halt large-scale poaching in most parts of the affected areas have started yielding positive results.
This has been made possible through a fresh approach, which includes a special publicity and education programme for residents on the hazards of poaching and their adverse effects to the nation’s economy and environment.
The reduction in poaching activities due to the above-mentioned strategies is a huge step towards protecting the country’s wildlife that contributes a lot in terms of foreign currency as tourists flock in their numbers to see the animals.
The country has for a long time been blamed for not doing enough to curb poaching following seizure of consignments of ivory and other government trophies in the country or in other countries; that is after they were “successfully’’ smuggled.
Now that Operation Spider Net is bearing fruit, more efforts are needed to achieve zero poaching and promote the nation’s tourism sector.
Continuing to educate the public over the importance of protecting the animals is vital if this war is to be won. The operation should also involve residents of areas surrounding parks and game reserves in the protection of these animals.
The tourism sector and the government should also continue working together and pull resources to support the anti-poaching drive for the betterment of the country.
If everyone plays his or her part, then it is possible to tame poaching.