Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

24 July 2014

Tanzania: Villagers to Be Paid Over Farm Losses

Mara — MINISTRY of Natural Resources and Tourism has demanded an immediate evaluation report and a name list of peasants whose crops have been destroyed by rampaging elephants in Mara Region.

The Ministry's Deputy Minister, Mr Mahmoud Mgimwa, made a working tour in Serengeti District on Tuesday and ordered officials to submit the report in a bid to speed up a compensation process without delay. Officials estimate that Serengeti District has 27 villages with several hundreds families.

The area is prone to attacks from stray elephants hailing from game protected areas including the world famous Serengeti National Park (SENAPA). Rampaging elephants are cited to be the cause of under-development and frequent shortages of food in the villages.

Recently, Serengeti councillors complained that the problem of destructive jumbos was getting out of hand in the villages and called for immediate intervention from the Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry.

Mr Mgimwa consoled all villagers who have been badly affected by destructive elephants in Serengeti and other parts of Mara Region.

"I urge all districts that are yet to bring their evaluation reports on the destruction caused by elephants to do so immediately," the deputy minister said at a meeting with local leaders and Mara officials which he convened at Giraffe Hotel in Mugumu town.

Increased human/wildlife conflicts here was also one of the critical issues discussed at the meeting. Land disputes between Tanzania National Park (TANAPA) was cited as the major conflict fueling human/wildlife conflict in the area.

Earlier on the same day Mr Mgimwa officially opened a special event held to promote cultural tourism in the district and hailed the initiative. The event was organised by Serengeti Cultural Centre, an organisation based in Mugumu town, the capital of Serengeti District.

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