Arusha — ARUSHA City has discovered a new economic niche through selling its green environment to foreign visitors, who of late have been turning to environment tourism.
The Municipal Director, Engineer Estomih Chang'a, revealed this during a special mass effort to replenish the city with more vegetation cover by planting some 2,000 tree seedlings along the perennial Themi River Valley.Mr Chang'a said that of late, visitors have been coming to Arusha mainly to sample the local environment and that the council handled an average of 200,000 environment tourists every year.
Environment tourism is described to have the potential of earning the council an average of 30 bil/- revenue per annum and to sustain that, city fathers have to plant many trees practically in many places.The Municipal Mayor, Mr Gaudence Lyimo, said that in few years' time the municipal officials, working in conjunction with local residents, target to ensure that each and every inch in the city is covered by trees.
"Arusha will be a city in the forest, we want people flying above to see the green cover competing with tall buildings but our aim is that trees prevail and dominate the city skies," said Mr Lyimo.
Over the weekend, both the Municipal Mayor and the Acting Director led a number of tour operators, driver-guides as well as small scale traders operating in town for the tree-planting exercise.Meanwhile, Arusha claimed the second position after Moshi Municipality, in environment conservation efforts awards of 2012 and a special certificate of recognition will be presented to the Municipal Council at the climax of the National Environment Week to be observed in Kilimanjaro region in the course of this week.
Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal is expected to be the guest of honour during the event. He will be representing President Jakaya Kikwete.