REGROW transforms former poacher into decent income earner

DODOMA: THE Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) has transformed Mr Fadhili Issa, a former poacher, into decent income earner, generating enough income for his family.

Mr Issa said recently shortly after joining the Community Conservation Bank (COCOBA), under the REGROW Project that he secured capital to run an artefact-related business and shun from the illegal hunting that drew back his economic prosperity and the tourism sector.

“Several years back while undertaking poaching my life was ruined but today REGROW has enabled me to run a business in artefacts from which I earn enough income for my family,” he said.

He called upon other people to stop poaching as it entails the use of wildlife for self-fulfillment at the expense of the present and future generations.

Explaining the importance of the project, a Ranger at Mang’ula B Village, Ms Neema Mbiki said through the project she had been creating awareness among citizens on different ways to defend themselves against dangerous animals.

Ms Mbiki said she has been explaining to residents about various benefits of the national parks from their endowed unique wildlife and the protection necessities.

The country’s national parks are home to a wide range of wildlife including cheetahs, lions, elephants, buffalos and rhinos.

In 2017, Tanzania received funding worth 150 million US dollars (about 350bn/-) from the International Development Association (IDA), housed by the World Bank (WB) as the soft loan credit to finance the REGROW project.

The project targets among others strengthening management and improving infrastructure in priority protected areas and strengthening alternative livelihoods for targeted communities in proximity to the priority protected areas for the sake of strengthening tourism.

Meanwhile, Construction of a tourism promotion centre for the Southern Circuit is expected to be completed within 12 months.

The Ministry of Natural Resource and Tourism through the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) on January 26 this year signed a contract with Azhar Construction Limited based in Dar es Salaam which will build the centre.

The construction which is under the REGROW will be carried out at the Kihesa Kilolo area in Iringa Region with the TTB going to manage the centre upon starting operation.

The one-stop centre’s building for promoting the southern circuit tourism will be a six-floor long tower with conference halls, shops to cater to tourists’ goods, TTB’s office and among other tourism stakeholders.

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