By Marc Nkwame
Arusha — THE government intends to purchase five more helicopters to supplement the available weaponry in the ongoing fight against illegal hunting and poaching.
Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu said that even the recent chopper which crashed in Dar-es-Salaam, killing four people, will be replaced through insurance cover, while a new helicopter is also on the way, which means that two choppers will soon be flying in the skies, patrolling the wilderness.
He also stated that the government will be sending four pilots for training in South Africa and five others for flying lessons in the United States, ready for serious aerial battle against illegal hunters around national parks and game reserves.
Mr Nyalandu was speaking here during an occasion to receive a donation of five Toyota Land-Cruiser Pickup trucks from the Wildlife Conservation Foundation of Tanzania.
The five vehicles were handed over to the Minister and are to be used for anti-poaching missions in the Wildlife Division of the Ministry.
"We are going to launch a new anti-poaching squadron in January 2015," said Mr Nyalandu explaining further that three of the newly donated cars will be dispatched to the Selous Game Reserve in Iringa while the remaining two are to be sent to KDU Command in Mwanza.
The vehicles were handed over to Mr Nyalandu by Mr Eric Pasanis of the Wildlife Conservation, who revealed that the donation was valued at 600 million/- and it was their contribution towards the war against poaching and illegal harvesting of natural resources.