Sunday, 11 May 2014

900 wardens to fight poaching

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Alex Bitekeye

The government will employ 935 game wardens in a fresh bid to curb poaching, Tourism and Natural Resources Minister Lazaro Nyalandu said yesterday. The wardens will be recruited in two phases--435 in May and 500 in July.

The minister was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day national conference on anti-poaching and conservation of elephants that has drawn local and international conservationists. “What I am seeing at last is that our dream of stopping poaching is now becoming a reality,” said the minister.

The government will buy two helicopters to support the anti-poaching drive and has already received one--a Robertson 44. According to Mr Nyalandu, the ministry has received $5 million (about Sh8.5 billion) from the Howard Buffet Foundation to buy the helicopters.

Some of the money will be spent on hostels for 300 students at Pasiansi Wildlife College in Mwanza and establishing a Cheetah Protection Project. Mr Nyalandu also spoke of the government’s plan to use drones to fight poaching in the vast Selous Game Reserve. “We think that the drones will help us more in curbing poaching, especially in the Selous,” said the minister. He declared zero tolerance on corruption and incompetent personnel.

Vice President Mohamed Ghalib Bilal said the future of wildlife in the country, particularly elephants, depends on effective security measures to ensure their survival in their natural habitat.

Read story in The Citizen

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