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SOS Rhino : In the News : AWF spends 9bn/- in wildlife conservation

AWF spends 9bn/- in wildlife conservation


Saturday, April 12, 2003 .
The Guardian
By Lwaga Mwambande

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has spent about 9m US dollars (9bn/-) in various wildlife conservation activities, particularly in Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks in Arusha Region.

AWF, which receives funds from the US government’s Agency for International Development (USAID), is implementing a Partnership Options for Resources Use project, which was implemented between 1998 and 2002. The project is to be extended to 2005.

Speaking to journalists who visited US government supported projects in Arusha Region on Thursday, the Coordinator of the AWF in the country, Dr James Kahurananga, said under the project, over 300kms of roads in Tarangire and Lake Manyara had been upgraded.

Heavy duty construction equipment for the roads were bought and the US Department of Interior trained operators of the machines.

Kahurananga said the Tarangire National Park had been provided with water, 10 staff quarters built while the construction of visitor centres at Tarangire and Lake Manyara was going on.

Prior to the project, the AWF coordinator said water for domestic use at Tarangire was being fetched in Arusha town.

On capacity building, Dr Kahurananga said the assistance included provision of motor vehicles.

He described the USAID support for the project as the biggest single aid package in Africa.

Kahurananga said apart from concentrating on wildlife conservation, AWF is dealing with people (pastoralists) residing close to the parks by ensuring that they benefit from them and participate actively in conserving animals.

The benefits from the project include increased revenue due to sharp increase in the number of visitors. With more security, the number of animals (elephants) has increased in the area to 3,000 last year as against 1,000 when the project started.

Under the project, USAID also provided communication equipment, computers and radios, which have improved communication in the areas.

Presently, AWF in collaboration with district authorities assist villages on land use planning where they demarcate areas for agriculture, pastoralism and wildlife as well as making by-laws.

“About 120 village game scouts have been trained at Pasiansi Game Reserve Training Centre to assist in conserving wildlife and forests,” he said.

Kahurananga said AWF had also a role in the Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) project established early this year to empower villagers with managing the areas and benefiting more from them.

Currently, Dr Kahurananga said, there were two pilot WMAs, Burunge WMA and Western Kilimanjaro WMA, both of which enjoy USAID support through AWF.

AWF is an American NGO established in 1961 in Washington D.C. with all its programmes concentrated in Africa.

The Foundation, which enjoys large support from the United States government, engages on research about animal species, elephants, support research on gorilla, rhino as well as community conservation in various African countries.

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