Monday, October 19, 2009


Management and conservation of wildlife under local governments
(district level) is questionable due to lack of gears to manage them in
the authority they follow.

According to Tanzanian Wildlife Conservation Act, there are four
agencies that are entrusted to manage wildlife in the country. These
are Wildlife division that manage wildlife in Game Reserves, Tanzania
National Park managing wildlife in National parks, Ngorongoro
Conservation Area Authority that manage wildlife in Ngorongoro
Conservation Area as well as Local Government Authorities that
manages wildlife in Open Areas as well as in Game Controlled Areas.

The above three agencies are well equipped in term of human
resources, vehicles as well as weapons to protect and manage the
wildlife. This is not the case once it comes to local government
authority whereby it is a tradition to find district with wildlife to
manage but without enough human resources and other protective
gears to be used to management purposes.

A good example is in Mkinga District in Tanga region whereby like
other district in the country Mkinga manages Umba Game Controlled
Area, the game area bordering Kenya. The district has two game
officers who have been recently employed to exercise their duties.
They are actually working in easier said than done environment as
they do not have any game scouts nor any weapon or vehicles to
manage wildlife they are entitled to.

This has resulted in number of human wildlife conflicts between the
communities living adjacent to the Umba Game Controlled area and
animals especially elephants. Elephants once invade the farms they
usually raid crops to large extent as no one is chasing them away. This
has also unstopped the extermination of other animal species due to
uncontrolled hunting that do not follow the principle of sustainable
hunting and other hunting procedures that any hunter is supposed to
abide to.

As we are now in the hunting term, many hunters are now operating in
Umba Game Controlled Area, but with no one to escort them. It has
been a long-established in this Game Controlled Area where hunters
hunt beyond their hunting quotas, hunting without following the
principle of sustainable hunting as well as using weapon not
recommended so as to easy hunt and catch the animals. I think it
won’t be wrong if at all we refer it as a legally poaching activity.
Hunters are given licenses to hunt and they go in the Game Controlled
area to hunt without game scouts to supervise them. It is also said that
some of the hunters do extend their hunting activities to Mkomazi
National Park. Not only that but also hunters who are given licenses do
extend their permit and it is rarely to find them being fined of their
offense. It is not easy to understand this situation happening in the
country as now the world is shouting on conservation of natural
resources for people’s development. This is the Game Controlled Area
that I think its presence does not meet people’s development rather
benefiting a group of people who lobby the poor for their benefits. As I
see in the near future we will be not having any animal in Umba Game
Controlled Area if the current situation proceeds.

As the new Wildlife Act number 5 of 2009 is in its implementation
process, I argue to the government to find a way of incorporating this
problem facing wildlife under local government authority so that they
can be protected as those in other wildlife management agencies. I
frankly call upon the ministry to look this problem with its responsible
eye to rescue the animals in this Game Controlled Area for the National
interest. On the other hand the governments should equip the local
government authority in term of human resources as well as other
resources including vehicles and weapons to better manage the
wildlife they are supposed to manage for the national interest and not

William Nambiza,

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