THE Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Jumanne Maghembe yesterday received three office and four residential buildings handed over by the German Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Detlef Wächter.
The buildings were constructed within the framework of the Serengeti Ecosystem Development and Conservation Project, which is financed by the development bank of German, KfW, on behalf of the government of the federal republic of Germany.
A statement from the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam says the project was implemented through the Tanzania National Parks and that additional financing and implementation support came from the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
The new houses are located at Fort Ikoma on the north-western boundary of the wildlife park.
"These new buildings greatly strengthen the park authorities' presence in the Serengeti and we appreciate this contribution of our German partners to the protection of the ecosystem," the minister said during the hand-over ceremony.
The Serengeti National Park has moved most staff out of the inner sanctuary to reduce the human 'ecological footprint' within the natural landscape.
On his part, German Ambassador Dr Wächter said Tanzania and Germany could look back on a long and successful partnership in protecting the Serengeti.
"These new buildings are another manifestation of our commitment to further strengthen this partnership and to conserve this ecosystem," the German envoy said. The statement says the Serengeti ecosystem development and conservation project now holds a portfolio amounting to 24m Euro (approximately 58bn/-).
The project aims at effective conservation and sustainable use of natural resources as well as at rural development in selected districts adjacent to the Serengeti to ensure that the globally significant ecosystem remains intact.
Community-based conservation and benefitsharing are key components of the the project - with TANAPA playing a key role in partnership with the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the natural resources ministry as well as the two neighbouring districts of Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
Construction of the three offices and four residential buildings was commissioned by FZS, the statement noted. "The office buildings will provide quality working space for up to twenty park management and outreach staff. The residential houses can accommodate up to seven employees and will help to reduce the housing shortages of the park outreach staff.
" the statement read in part. The cost of construction was put at EUR 580,000, (approximately 1.4bn/-) - between June 2016 and July 2017 - all within the SEDCP project, and that 25 more housing units for 50 rangers were slated over the next three years. The houses were built using Hydraform bricks, both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
The bricks are sun-dried and do not require wasteful need wood burning - as is the case in traditional brick-making.
And, since they're interlocking, they do not require the use of heavy mortar either.