WILDLIFE PROJECTS, COMMUNITY PROJECTS BY THE CULLMAN AND HURT, ARUSHA, TANZANIA, EAST AFRICA.
During the last year a total of 44 poachers were apprehended in the Maswa-Makao area. These comprised of people arrested for the cutting down of trees and the possession of illegal firearms and game meat. A total of 12 poachers camps were found and destroyed and 4,352 wire snares were confiscated.
Five different field officers have been operating in this area during 1999, due to changes in the CHCWP staff. We have had to temporarily scrap one of the anti-poaching teams due to lack of funds. David Wallace will carry out the anti-poaching activities in both Maswa-Makao and Burko from March onwards. Mr. Daniel Yamat, most recently carrying out activities in this area, has resigned in preference of a business venture and he has been replaced by Vincent Boney who will go down to Rungwa.
Mr. Costa Mlay, one of the trustees of CHCWP visited the Maswa-Makao area in December with David Wallas and together they participated in village meetings and discussions and accounted for all village funds, to date. Mr. Mlay was shown how the project operates and has since requested a second trip to the same area and a further trip to see the CHCWP, Rungwa. The interest that Mr. Mlay has shown in the project is greatly appreciated. He has set aside his precious time to participate in CHCWP and has shared the knowledge that he brings from many years of working with wildlife and the environment, both in Tanzania and abroad.
The Makao village has gained some additional funds this year from the Mannix Millenium safari.
Mr. Fred Mannix very kindly donated the materials for the repair and finishing of the village school roof after spending some time in the area. He has also pledged money for the repair of the church in Makao village. The same safari bought further assistance to the village in the way of medical expertise. Dr Erminia Guarneri and Mrs. Rauni King together with Andre De Kock as a translator and medical supplies from the USA, set up a practice in the local clinic (built with funds through the project) for a couple of days. They treated a wide variety of cases and assisted with many minor ailments. A similar clinic was carried out in the Burko area. These have led to the idea of another project, alongside CHCWP, that is presently being researched.
Elimenny Kanza has been the field officer here, for CHCWP, since April 1999. In this time he and his team of volunteers from the villages have arrested 46 people. Of these, 30 were carrying out illegal logging practices. The village of Biti Manyanga surrendered a total of 13 muzzleloaders to Kanza and to David Wallas which shows an enormous step forward. Unfortunately people from the same village have continued to carry out illegal operations and have been arrested for poisoning of fish, logging and illegal possession of firearms. Further work needs to be carried out in these areas to convince people to protect their heritage. Mr. Kanza has left the project, as of February, and will not be replaced until more funds are obtained.
John Ngalasoni is still hard at work as the CHCWP Field Officer in Niensi. In the last year he has been using village volunteers from Usinga and Lumbe and they have changed every three months to enable every one to participate in the scheme. Game scouts have been used from the anti-poaching unit in Tabora and they too have been replaced like the villagers.
John's biggest success of the year was to convince one of the biggest poachers in the area, Linus Kangungu, from Lumbe village to hand in his muzzleloader after a village meeting on wildlife conservation. He was awarded 15,000/= as a reward and was employed in the anti-poaching team.
John has been giving talks on conservation and the environment in villages such as Lumbe, Usinga and Usenga as well as in the primary schools in the area.
57 poachers have been caught in this area of which 27 were game poachers (most are poaching hippo, giraffe and topi), 5 were illegally fishing and 25 were caught illegally harvesting hardwoods. 28 wire snares, 9 muzzleloaders and one .458 caliber rifle were confiscated.
Sadly, most of the poachers in this area are Hutu's from the refugee camps in Katumba and Mishamo (Rukwa and Kigoma regions).
In Mlele, Elly Mamuya reports that since October 1999, 90% of the 51 poachers caught have been illegally harvesting natural hardwoods. He is frustrated that the villages and the district and regional leaders are aware of the organised syndicate for logging and yet the fight against it is still weak. The Rukwa Game Reserve Management has been very cooperative in their assistance in the anti-poaching teams and in the steps that they have taken to stop the practice of illegal logging in their area.
Mamuya and his team have confiscated 7 muzzleloaders and 2 rifles since October.
Village projects continue to be a success thanks to the contributions made by the clients of Robin Hurt Safaris (Tz) Ltd.
In 1999 the building of many schools has continued to dominate the projects. Many thanks to the Safari Club International's, Operation Bright Light for their generous contributions to the building of Lendikinya, Lepurko and Orkeswa schools. These three schools are finished and are the delight of many proud students and the village community.
The reconditioned x-ray machine that was requested by Mpanda town for their hospital was safely shipped to Dar Es Salaam from England and took the train to Mpanda where it was met by John Ngalasoni and handed over to the hospital.
One new village has joined the project in the Niensi/Luganzo area, while two villages in Burko have split into four increasing the total number of villages in the project to 23.
CHCWP will attend the International CITES meeting held in Nairobi on the 10-20th April 2000. They will represent the commitment that Tanzania has towards community based conservation for its wildlife and environment.