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Nyerere National Park , two others officially established

Nyerere National Park , two others officially established

NYERERE National Park, carved out of Selous Game Reserve, has officially come into existence after President John Magufuli approved a proposal to form the park out of Africa’s largest and oldest game reserve.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Adolf Mkenda announced on Sunday that the new national park was officially established on Tuesday last week after President Magufuli signed into law the proposal that was approved by Members of Parliament in September to establish the park and name it after the father of the Nation, Julius Nyerere.

The 30,893 square kilometres Nyerere becomes the largest national park in Africa and with the largest wilderness area in the continent that has relatively undisturbed ecological and biological processes, including diverse range of wildlife.

President Magufuli also signed into law establishment of Kigosi National Park (7,460 square kilometres) which is located between Bukombe and Kahama Districts in Shinyanga Region up to Urambo District in Tabora Region and River Ugalla National Park (3,865 square kilometres) in Tabora Region, Prof Mkenda said.

Members of Parliament had unanimously approved a government proposal to change status of a part of Selous Game Reserve to form a new national park to be named Nyerere National Park in September this year.

They also unanimously approved another proposal to upgrade Kigosi and River Ugalla game reserves to National Parks.

Tabling the proposal, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Khamis Kigangwala said the changes would improve conservation of ecosystem of wildlife, plants and fish breeding areas so as to boost domestic tourism, and enhance the economy of neighbouring communities.

He said forming of a national park out of Selous Game Reserve would also boost national income as the national park would attract more tourists.

President John Magufuli directed the government’s wildlife conservation authorities to carve a part of Selous Game Reserve to form a new national park last July.

He said at a ceremony to lay a foundation stone for the Rufiji Hydroelectric Power project that the Selous Game Reserve should be divided into two parts and the lower part should retain its status as a game reserve and the upper should become a national park to be named after the founding father of the nation.

He said that the current situation of the Selous Game Reserve, one among Africa’s biggest wildlife conservation area, was not economically viable to benefit Tanzania through tourism, mostly hunting safaris and a few photographic safaris being carried in the Reserve.

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Author: HENRY LYIMO

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