Tanzania tourism stakeholder puts his money where his mouth is and fights poaching

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Dubai-based investor, Ali Albwardy, has joined a bloody war against wildlife poaching in East Africa’s wildlife-rich country of Tanzania, e-Turbo news has learned.

Mr. Albwardy’s company known as ASB Dubai, which owns a hotel chain in Tanzania, has offered a Land Cruiser vehicle worth $44,000 to boost a unique anti-poaching drive in the country’s flagship national park of Serengeti.

Poaching remains a hard nut to crack in Tanzania, prompting tourism investors, mostly those operating in Serengeti, to support Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) through Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) by funding the Serengeti De-Snaring Program.

The De-snaring Progam, the first of its kind, has the objective of removing the widespread snares set by local bush-meat mongers to catch massive wildlife within the Serengeti National Park and beyond.

Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge Manager, Mr. Martin Cody, says Mr. Albawardy was very pleased to purchase the new safari vehicle for the de-snaring drive within Serengeti under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model involving TANAPA, FZS, and private investors.

“As Mr. Albawardy continues expanding his portifolio of hotels in Tanzania following the recent opening of Melia Serengeti and the forthcoming launching of Hyatt Regency in Arusha, he feels it’s important to support conservation and community in the country we operate,” Mr. Cody explains.

With yet another patrol vehicle, the anti-poaching program is going to deploy an additional team within to boost the fieldwork beyond Serengeti National Park, as it intends to cover Maswa Game Reserve and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the FZS Project Manager, Mr. Erik Winbergm, says.

According to him, the teams consist of a retired TANAPA ranger as team leader and active rangers also from the authority who will provide security in each group.

The team members have been recruited from the Serengeti ecosystem villages in an effort to target ex-poachers and use their experience for fighting the snaring.

Serengeti National Park Chief Warden, Mr. William Mwakilema, was grateful to the investor for chipping in to support TANAPA in the fight against poaching.

“As Chief Park Warden for Serengeti National Park, I thank the tourism stakeholders for their incredible support in the anti-poaching drive,” Mr. Mwakilema says.

The TATO Councilor spearheading the conservation drive, Ms. Vesna Glamocanin Tibaijuka, says the Serengeti De-snaring Program has been able to, among other things, remove 9,838 snares, destroy 91 poachers’ camps, release nearly 100 animals alive, and arrest 21 poachers in 12 months.

According to official data from July to September 2017 alone, a total of 790 various species of wildlife have been killed by the wire snares within Serengeti National Park, painting a clear picture of the scale of the threat.

A TANAPA document shows that a total of 500 wildebeests were killed during the period under review, followed by 110 zebras and 54 thomson gazelles.

Other slain wildlife animals include 35 topi, 28 buffalo, 27 impala, 19 warthog, and 17 eland, the document indicates.

July was the worst month, as it saw a total of 376 wildlife animals slaughtered, compared to August and September when 248 and 166 were killed, respectively.

Another report by the FZS documents the snare-related wildlife catch from mid-April to early October 2017, indicating that a total of 7,331 snares had been discovered and removed in Serengeti National Park. This means that the bush-meat poachers set nearly 1,222 snares every month to hook the wildlife animals.