PRESIDENT John Magufuli has directed Rukwa and Katavi regional authorities and Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) to conduct comprehensive research on the best way to conserve hippopotamuses (hippos) in the region instead of killing them.
Dr Magufuli said the research should outline proper distribution of resource between human and hippos who strayed into people’s farms and other human settlement.
“This problem is caused by Rukwa and Mpanda farmers who have blocked Katuma River from flowing into their habitats,” President Magufuli said amid applause from the crowd in attendance.
He added: “Hippos too depend on the same resource for their survival, thus the complaints will never stop until appropriate measures are taken to address the problem.” he noted.
He warned that if authorities had a plan to harvest them or transfer them to a reserved area that must be carefully planned as human activities are the main cause of their shift from their natural habitats to human settlement areas.
He said it is crucial to ensure there are reliable water source and grass for them feed on.
The President warned that killing them will not be the best solution as it would bring about negative consequences to the tourism sector.
President Magufuli also directed Tanapa to construct ponds for hippos to assist them to shift swiftly from villages to the park.
On August, Minister for Natural resources revealed that the government was planning to sell ten per cent of all hippos and crocodile in water bodies which are located near villages.
Dr Kigwangalla, said the decision was meant to reduce conflicts between people and wild animals, especially those residing near the water bodies.
He cited Mpanda, Babati and Mafia as areas were people either lost their lives or suffered life-threatening attacks.