USAID project secures giraffe population

A multi-billion conservation project is now paying dividends if the drop in number of giraffes killed along the Kwakuchinja Wildlife corridor, a crucial habitat connecting Tarangire and Manyara National Parks, is anything to go by.

Implemented to the tune of 1.325bn/-, the joint initiative by Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) and the ChemChemAssociation (CCA), has reduced giraffe poaching by a sheer 80 per cent.

Fielding questions from Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) here recently, CCA’s Public Relations Officer, Charles Sylvester disclosed that, the project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has greatly helped in protecting the  large African hoofed mammal, which is also considered as the ‘national symbol’.

“We’ve have stepped up giraffes’ protection as they used to fall prey to illegal hunters along the Kwakuchinja wildlife corridor,” explained Mr Sylvester.

USAID’s financing of the project will see rangers getting equipped with uniforms and field gear as they set out to protect the animals, according to the CCA official.

Mr Sylvester further attributed the drop in giraffes killing to conservation education, which he said has proven to be a crucial step towards inspiring and empowering communities living in Burunge Wildlife Management Area (BWMA) on protecting wildlife from extinction.

Cases of giraffe killings have been reported by the community in the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem in northern Tanzania, especially along the Kwakuchinja Wildlife Corridor.

More often than not, giraffes get killed for bush meat and animal fat in the belief that it has magic wand to treat people of their various ailments, including men’s libido.

At least 260 kilograms of giraffe meat was impounded in Manyara region, recently.

The government has been implementing various measures for wildlife protection which, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, have significantly reduced poaching and illegal harvesting of natural resources.

The ministry said the anti- poaching drive has seen wildlife population increasing in the country as it continues with efforts to improve protection and conservation of natural resources, fight poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

Meanwhile, the CCA has constructed 13 predator-proof bomas to avert human-wildlife conflicts in the area.

Such structures have been put in place in Sangaiwe, VilimaVitatu and Kakoi Village in Babati District.

“The move intends to protect livestock from predation at night,” added Mr Sylvester.

JET members visited the area for a three-day fact-finding mission courtesy of courtesy of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) TuhifadhiMaliasiliProject.

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