Tanzania: government sets up hotlines to control damage to wildlife
THE Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism has established fourteen special hotlines that people will use to call authorities in case wild animals and other disturbing animals leave national parks to storm their places.
According to the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Damas Ndumbaro, this initiative aims to get immediate information from people whenever animals wreak havoc on their households or farms.
This means that anyone who sees an animal in their home will be able to call the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), or the ministry headquarters directly.
Dr Ndumbaro handed over eight cell phones to TAWA for use in eight areas. He also handed over four gadgets to TANAPA, one to the NCAA and another cell phone to the Permanent Secretary, which will be used as the main call center in case people fail to contact authorities in their areas.
He said each phone will have a special number that people can call if they have a problem with the animals. However, he urged Tanzanians to use the numbers for targeted purposes and not otherwise. Immediately after the launch of the new service, a resident of Mvomero district in Morogoro region called the minister to tell him that a group of elephants had invaded his farm and destroyed almost all crops, demanding immediate intervention.
The minister immediately dispatched officials from the ministry to rescue her as he advised her not to expel them before the officials arrived, as she was risking her life in doing so. Speaking on the same occasion, the ministry’s deputy minister, Mary Masanja, said the government has deployed officials to different regions to educate people living near national parks on how to handle animals whenever they are. ‘They storm their places.
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr Allan Kijazi, said the launch of the press service was a true reflection of the government being fully committed to dealing with the issues plaguing Tanzanians.