Tanapa intensifies security in parks to deter poachers

AN authority charged with the management of the country’s National Parks has especially intensified security in the western corridor in a bid to deter poaching- related activities, it has been learnt.

In an interview with ‘Daily News’ in Karagwe District recently, a Tanzania National Park (Tanapa) Senior Conservation Officer-in-Charge of Protection and Law Enforcement, Ms Upendo Massawe said that they have in courses come up with a special aircraft and boats to patrol and surveillance the newly upgraded National Parks located in Kagera and Geita Regions.

The move comes before President John Pombe Magufuli launched the Burigi-Chato National Park in Chato District, Geita Region.

She further said that it was important to have the new national parks secured all times, especially because they border neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda.

“We don’t want to take anything to chance that is why we are vigilant enough, and proactive to ensure that the natural resources found in the three National Parks are always secure,” added the conservation officer.

According to Ms Massawe, the three newly upgraded National Parks namely; Burigi-Chato, Ibanda-Kyerwa and Rumanyika-Karagwe are largely inhabited by a wide range of wildlife and fish species, and hence require special security.

Apart from reinforcing security, Tanapa has also prepared General Management Plans (GMP), where each national park would have its own management.

“Initially, Tanapa has had discussions with potential investors’ allocated spaces for tented lodges, hotels and other facilities in each of the park,” she offered.

In another development, Ms Massawe said that her authority was also currently upgrading the road networks which lead to the tourists’ destinations.

Expounding, she hinted that a 218.8 kilometer rough stretch that leads to Burigi-Chato National Park had already been worked on.

Ms Massawe further said that her office was liaising with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (Tawiri) and the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (Tawa) to conduct ecological studies to ascertain the kinds of animals to be introduced in the new national parks.

While Burigi-Chato measures 4,702square kilometers, Ibanda Kyerwa and Rumanyika-Karagwe span 294 and 255square kilometers respectively.

The national parks were part of Biharamulo, Burigi and Kimisi Game Reserves before their merger by the government recently. Apart from game drive, the parks are also revered for sports’ fishing, and canoeing as well as boat excursions.

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Author: EDWARD QORRO recently in Karagwe

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