The idea of urban tourism was introduced in the year 2004-2005 by Arusha Municipal Council and Kimandolu Hill was selected to be among one of Tourism attractions. The project aimed at creating income generating activities to the council by introducing attractions of different kinds on the hill so as to be good destination place for tourist before they go to other tour places.
It was proposed that the Hill should be kept in an attractive situation by building a hut tower on the top of the hill whereby once the tourists reach there they can be able to see the view of Arusha city and how it is attractive. Also it was suggested that there should be a construction of trails to reach at the top of the hill and small vibanda’s along the trails meant for selling traditional foods, cultural products such as ear rings, souvenirs and different kinds of hand crafts (Curios).
The priority of doing such activities should be given to the resident women and youth around the reserve in order to bring development to the community. “The beneficiary should be the people around the hill where they will be given an opportunity in such businesses which are the main attraction of the tourists who visit Arusha. They will gain a lot of income for their own development and community at large,” (said by Joel Mbasha the Tindigani Street Leader).
The City Council proposed that the income generated from the project will be for the benefit of the people around the reserve and the ward such as building of street offices, dispensaries, school and for the entire development of the ward, as every tourist will pay 5 US dollars when visiting the reserve. The income that will be generated will be distributed in a certain percentage which is not yet clarified among the ward and City Council
On the other side, local people around the reserve are blaming the administration of Kimandolu ward and City council concerning the project. According to the research made, it has been noted that there is no any involvement of the local community around the reserve during planning, establishment and implementation of the project.
This is the main problem which faces the community around the reserve as most of them who were interviewed confessed that they don’t know about the project and the one who introduced it. So this brings many questions to the community if they can benefit from the project which they were not involved during its establishment. It seems that the benefits mentioned by the leaders are like imaginations and just a plan which doesn’t have any benefit to the community because up to this moment the project is not yet implemented and it is believed that a lot of money have been used to establish it.
It is true that urban tourism project over the area can benefit the local people and the city council, but it has been observed that there was no any kind of involvement of local people around the reserve who have been and will be the key stakeholders. This kind of top-down approach is a wrong approach to the community for the projects aimed at community development. However, there is a need for advocacy on local people involvement and participation in every stage from planning, establishment, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and equal benefit sharing among the stakeholders. There should be consideration of the local people living around who have been playing a big role in conservation and protection of the reserve; this would ensure sustainability of the project and benefits from the resource.
Written by Penina Joachim –YET 2011