Mara — CONSTRUCTION of a livestock watering dam at Gibasso village in Nyarokoba ward in Tarime District is expected to significantly reduce unnecessary conflicts between herders and wardens of the Serengeti National Park (SENAPA).
The Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) has agreed to finance construction of the dam as part of its programmes aimed at making local communities reap the fruits of conservation.
"We are welcoming the project wholeheartedly and everybody here is happy but we don't know when construction of the dam will start", Nyarokoba ward councillor Mr, Mustapha Masian told the 'Daily News' at the weekend.
The civic leader said SENAPA officials have already passed in the village making preparations of the project. "Water for livestock consumption is one of the biggest problems facing Gibasso village residents and construction of the dam will restrain herders from entering into the park searching for water," Mr Masian said.
SENAPA Chief Park Warden Mr William Mwakilema confirmed that construction of the dam project at Gibasso village has been approved.
"The project has been approved and we are making final arrangements", Mr Mwakilema said in a brief telephone interview with the 'Daily News'.
He said Tarime District Council is being involved on implementation of the project that is scheduled to kick off early this year. Tarime is one of the districts in Mara Region with some villages located near the northern fringes of the world famous park.
Although some herders from the Tarime villages of late had been entering into the park looking for pasture and water something which triggered a prolonged tension between them and SENAPA warders.
The Chief Park Warden has in recent months repeatedly asked the villagers to respect the existing borders and stop from taking their animals into the park. The decision by TANAPA to finance construction of the dam is also expected to help in ironing out the long misunderstanding between the villagers and wardens, according to local leaders.
TANAPA is a body responsible for protection and conservation of 16 national parks in various parts of the country. Covering 14,763 square kilometers, SENAPA is considered as the jewel of the nation blessed with a wide range of wild animals including the great annual migration of wildebeest.
September last year, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, officiated the climax of the second Mara Day celebrations held in Mugumu, the capital of the neighbouring Serengeti District and called for sustainable conservation SENAPA forever.
Mr Pinda described SENAPA as the biggest Tanzanian tourist destinations attracting thousands of tourists hailing almost from all angels of the world.
By Mugini Jacob, 13 January 2014