THE government has organised a training tour for citizens from 15 villages in and around wildlife protected areas in Southern Tanzania.
Villages listed in the tour under the umbrella of the Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) project include those in areas around Ruaha, Mikumi, Udzungwa and Nyerere National Park.
About 60 citizens, accompanied by experts from their respective district councils and parks, will visit Serengeti, Tarangire and Manyara National Parks to learn together about conservation and tourism activities,
They will also learn how the communities living around the wildlife protected areas benefit from the opportunities that arise from conservation and tourism.
Along with the tour, a session to educate the members of the group will be held to build mutual understanding and identify important areas to learn through the visit.
Speaking on behalf of the REGROW Project Coordinator during the opening of the session in Morogoro, TANAPA’s Environmental and Community Safety Officer, Dr Halima Niwano, advised the participants to take advantage of the opportunities present in the tourism and conservation sectors by changing their mindsets and increasing their awareness of conservation and tourism.
“During the tour, you will learn about conservation and tourism and their social, economic and environmental benefits. You will be able to share experiences with the groups you will visit and learn new methods to solve the challenges you encounter in your groups, so it is good that you take what is good to improve performance in your groups,” said Dr Kiwango.
For his part, the REGROW second phase Project Manager, Ms Hobokela Mwamjengwa, noted that TANAPA, through the REGROW Project, has opened opportunities in 61 villages by providing conservation and tourism education, which has enabled citizens to join Community Conservation Banking (COCOBA) groups and benefit from the programme.
“We expect you to be good ambassadors for your colleagues, especially in the entrepreneurial as well as Community Conservation Banking (COCOBA) groups you have joined. This tour will open up you a lot.”
Speaking further, the Secretary of the Village Livelihood Committee (VLC) in Mang’ula village, Mr Hamisi Dule emphasised their strong belief in the REGROW Project and how it will transform their lives.
He added that they have learnt a lot from the project and will continue to learn a lot from this tour because it is obvious that the tourism industry in the Northern Circuit has grown greatly compared to the Southern circuit.
The REGROW project is being implemented through soft loan funds of 150 million US dollars from the World Bank (WB).