Noble project to protect biodiversity in offing

The United State Agency for international Development (USAID) has reached out to communities living along the Kwakuchinja Wildlife Corridor to help them protect and conserve nature.

Through the ‘Tuhifadhi Maliasili’ project, the agency brought together the CRDB Bank Northern Zone officials and representatives of more than 20 community groups in Arusha with a view to ensure that local community groups get financial support to facilitate environment friendly income generating ventures that will boost local economy and protect wildlife and natural resources.

Speaking here recently, a Private Sector Engagement Manager with USAID’s Tuhifadhi Maliasili project, Elikana Kalumanga said the initiative seeks to make the communities value and treasure nature.

“The project entails at empowering women and youth who live along the wildlife corridor, by giving the interest free loans from CRDB,” Dr Kalumanga explained.

The expert argued that some of the environment destructing activities, including illegal logging, charcoal burning and even poaching occur when people are striving to generate income through whichever means possible.

“Through the project, we will assist women and youth who live along the Tarangire-Manyara wildlife corridor to have alternative income generating activities, which would in turn discourage them from destroying the environment,” he said.

According to Dr Kalumnaga, when local communities get empowered to come up with economic enterprises, it becomes easier for them to ditch environmentally destructive habits.

On his part, the Manager of Randilen Wildlife Management Area (WMA) which operates in Monduli District, Meshurie Melembuki said conservation is business because it is what boosts tourism activities in the Northern Zone.

Implemented to the tune of $30.5 million, the five-year project aims to address threats to animal movement and biodiversity in Tanzania.

Over the past few decades, Tanzania is reported to have lost at least one-third of its ecosystems and the number of threatened species has tripled.

Currently, approximately 25 per cent of the country’s foreign income comes from tourism, the majority of which is wildlife based.

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