By BILHAM KIMATI, 7th September 2011 @ 14:46, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 1292
THE government has allocated 60 hunting blocks to professional hunting firms for a period between 2013 and 2018.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism said in a statement issued in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday that 51 blocks or 85 per cent will be owned by local firms and nine or 15 per cent by foreign companies. There are 159 hunting blocks in the country.
However, it said that there are 13 companies owning more than one hunting block. Some are reportedly holding up to five blocks depending on the applications, while 14 other hunting blocks were not allocated after the applicants failed to meet conditions.
"The government is considering ways of improving the hunting blocks that registered drop in the number of game and resources due to causes including livestock grazing, farming and building of houses," reads part of the statement.
It explained that through the Wildlife Act, the Wildlife Department has continued to co-ordinate consumptive utilisation and control of non consumptive utilisation. Professional hunting being one of the means of utilisation.
Initially the hunting business was managed by hunting firms, many of them were foreign companies but complaints led to enactment of the Wildlife Act, to address controversial issues.
Between 2008 and January 2011, re-assessment of the resourcefulness of hunting blocks including biodiversity, size of grazing land and availability of water and accessibility of the area was carried out by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI).
Other duties included setting of new standards and criteria to be applied during assessment of applicants in addition to appointment of select committee members.
Eleven members were appointed. These are Bakari Mbano (chairman), Dr Simon Mduma , Edward Msyani, Saidi Nzori, Allan Kijazi and Obed Mbangwa.
Others are Steven Ihema, Mary Mwanjelwa, Prof. Letisia Rutashobya, Daniel Nsanzugwanko and Beno Malisa.
Allocation of hunting blocks was preceded by an official announcement by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ezekiel Maige, in February, this year followed by invitation of bids for hunting blocks mid-February and June, 2011.
The committee interviewed all 108 applicants countrywide, verified possession of recommended equipment, 1bn/- bond for foreign companies and 300m/- for local companies.
However, priority was given to companies with impressive tax paying record, support to anti-poaching, improvement of the infrastructure, honouring of corporate social responsibility and promotion of the country in US and European tourism markets.
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