Arusha Times (Arusha)

24 March 2013

Tanzania: Maasai Morans Join War Against Poachers

Maasai worriors in Monduli District have pledged to join forces in fighting poaching around their villages after having realized tourism benefits.

They made the pledge at Lepurko village grounds where more than 5000 villagers received treatment from volunteer doctors from Canada and Monduli district hospital, a courtesy of Robin Hurt Wildlife foundation.

A week long medical camp saw the villagers getting treatment on various ailments and were also provided with 524 spectacles free of charge.

Speaking on behalf of the Morans, Ezekiel Melabori said their communities had realized the importance of wildlife and appreciated the medical attention organized by the hunting firm which has a hunting block in Monduli.

Melabori said apart from medical aid provided rotationally every year, the firm also built schools classes, water dams and supported other developmental activities in different villages in the District.

"We condemn criminals who kill animals because they are taking away our fortune, we have embarked on a plan to patrol our area and make sure no animal is killed here "said Melabori.

He said villagers now feel they own the wild animals in their area. They appealed to the ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources to come with clear policies that would make people living near natural tourists attractions sites benefit from tourism.

On her part Helena Sapok thanked the doctors for their hard work to treat women and children in their villages.

"As a woman, I feel much comfort to receive medical treatment near my home. We normally travel 5 to 7 kilometers to reach medical services, it costs money and time," said Helena.

Speaking about the initiative, the Robin Hurt Foundation coordinator Wesley Kaleshu said the foundations is working within 15 villages in the district by providing help in health ,education and other sectors.

The medical mission which conducted mobile clinics in Losimingori and Lepurko villages comprised medical personnel from the district medical department and volunteers from Canada.

Robin Hurt director Derek Hurt said he was happy to share part of the profit they got in their business with the communities near their hunting block.

"By giving back to the people of Monduli we have given room for them to realize how important wildlife is to their livelihood "said Mr Hurt .

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