KUNDUCHI ruins hold spectacular views and are rich in history not only of African but also the past global trade between the African continent and the outside world.
This is because they house remains and graves of former traders and migrants from outside Africa who definitely reached the East coast of the Indian ocean in search of goods, people to trade with and also greener pastures for establishing new life there.
Even though Kunduchi ruins are situated within the Dar es Salaam region, fewer people are not aware of their presence. This awakes the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) establishes planning to increase the number of local and foreign tourists visiting the Kunduchi ruins sites by eighty per cent in the next fiscal year.
Daily news this week was lucky to tour the sites which are also decorated with clean beaches with water suitable for swimming, picnicking and a path for fishermen sailing for deep water fish catches in the Indian Ocean.
The ruins are under good protection of Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) and hence needed careful ness in observing all protocols before I could get a chance to write about the runs.
TAWA Principal Conservator, Commanding Officer Reinfrida Kapela in an interview with ‘Daily News’ in Dar es salaam, described the ruins as situated in a 20.5 acres of land along the Indian coastline in Dar es Salaam regions with a beach and mangrove forest.
She said that currently, the site which is rich in Swahili civilization, ancient intercontinental trade history is an evidence of cultural interactions between African and other continents that were still unknown to many people, and hence lead to low visitation which is also unhealthy to the economy in terms of earning.
“It is a fact that Kunduchi ruins are not yet popular and therefore the plan is to change the narratives adopting those which will attract at least 10,000 visitors a year from current 2,000 who will be coming to learn, relax and enjoy this cultural heritage Tanzania is blessed with,”
She added that the Kunduchi area is an area with a rich history of Swahili civilization and it is a place with ample evidence of the origin of such Civilization. The area served as a port for trade between the east coast of Africa and the Arab states and China in ancient times.
Some of the plans by TAWA include attracting archaeologists, researchers, conferences, picnics, setting up sports events, traditional dances and conferences. The site is also a home to 30 different bird specials and reptiles which altogether plays an important role to domestic and foreign tourism.
Some of the remnants to be shown by the visitors of Kunduchi ruins include remnants of a late 15th-century mosque as well as Arabic graves from the 18th or 19th centuries. They also have well preserved pillar tombs and some more recent graves.. Fragments of Chinese pottery found here testify to ancient trading links between this part of Africa and Asia.
The local community still lacks awareness and understanding of the importance of this world-famous history found in Kunduchi and not elsewhere in the world. TAWA is therefore aiming to educate the public on the importance of caring for the environment and these Kunduchi Ruins so that they can be a source of job creation to Tanzanians.
The ruins are very close to the modern establishment area of Kunduchi decorated with residential houses, recreational facilities and the likes, the site is accessible by commuter buses, motorcycle and even on foot and hence people from all over Dar es Salaam region can reach the place unhindered by distance of transport costs.
The National Museums of Tanzania (NMT) has launched a programme of motivating University and college youths to promote Cultural and heritage tourism and take up business and job opportunities arising there.
Dubbed ‘Museum University Hub’, the programme looks to compliment president Samia Suluhu Hassan’s effects of increasing tourism earnings for growing the economy and creating awareness to youths on their cultural heritage, one way of motivating to preserve cultural heritage sites in urban and rural areas.
“Dar es salaam region has most cultural heritage sites including Kunduchi ruins with huge untapped potential of attracting domestic and foreign tourists. this would have young people be creative to preserve the sites and market them for creating jobs and employ others,” said NMT Senior Education Officer, Ms Anamery Bagenyi
Apart from the Kunduchi Ruins, NMT also recognizes that Dar es Salaam city has more than 100 cultural and heritage sites. Such a city tour activities by NMT aiming at making youths who are the future tourist stakeholders promote a narrative of viewing Dar es Salaam as a home of cultural heritage tourist sites.
Some of the other areas for tourists situated in Dar Es Salaam are cultural heritage including artefacts found within NMT premises, monuments, oldest buildings and sites, symbolic heritage like Monument, historic artistic, ethnological or anthropological, social way of life.