Ask donors to protect Tanzania’s natural beauty, says Maghembe
By David Newapa in Serengeti
Addressing an august audience here at a hand-over occasion of a set of buildings that will consolidate gains achieved so far in implementing the Serengeti Ecosystem Development and Conservation Project, excited Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Jumanne Maghembe did not only thank Germans, the chief funders, but asked Tanzanians to campaign for protection the country’s rare natural beauty.
“…Our foreign visitors want to visit and see our country in its natural beauty,” he said referring to foreign tourists. He stopped there. However, one would deduce this to be a three-pronged call.
One, a call to millions of Tanzanians who work and live on land to protect Tanzania’s natural vegetation, more so its tropical plants, shrubbery and water sources; to avoid encroachment on forests and wetlands and abhor forest fires.
Two, it was a call to conservators to live up to their oath; to protect the game and its habitat. Incidentally, his addressees included the Managing Diretor of Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), Mr Allan Kijazi and the ‘host’, the Head of Serengeti National Park, Mr William Mwakilema.
Three, it was a call to the officials; people who talk to the world’s powerful and rich and who sign documents on behalf of millions of Tanzanians. By probably inferring to this group, the minister called on ‘Tanzanians’ to appeal to donors to support protection of Tanzania’s game and the country’s natural vegetation.
Germany, whose government and conservationist organisations, are huge supporters of Tanzania’s natural conservation efforts whose represented by the German Ambassador Dr Detlef Wachter, who handed-over the building to the Tanzania Government.
Professor Maghembe told the envoy: “… we are grateful to our German friends for this help and for demonstrating unwavering determination to protect ecosystem.”
All his listeners were standing on Serengeti soil and have had a glimpse of its unique, preserved gifts of nature.
Serengeti, the professor told his audience, is a unique nature’s gift to the world — and he justified that contention.
Listing one by one Serengeti’s unique features, Mr Maghembe said Serengeti is home of the only oldest ecosystem in the world; it is the home of migrants animals which every year cross Mara River into Kenya’s Maasai Mara region, graze and return; it is the home of big and stunning animals that are seen in their natural habitat. The rare animals include elephants, wildebeests, lions and cheetahs.
Serengeti has over 500 types of birds which include ostriches, secretary birds, kori bustards, crowned crane, marabou stork, martial eagle, lovebirds.
Pick kori bustard. According to the Google search engine, this is what it says on kori-bustards:
“Along with condors, swans and turkeys, the kori bustard is one of the world’s heaviest flying birds, as well as being the largest of all bustards.”
The struggle preserve Serengeti started in the second half of last century. Because of its preserved old ecosystem and unique natural wonders, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) declared Serengeti as a world heritage.
Indeed, the professor has good reasons to ask Tanzanians to appeal to donors to support efforts directed towards protection of Tanzania’s natural vegetation and game.