16 April 2018

Tanzania: Tanga to Have 14,000 New Mangroves

GOOD Samaritans with the conservation of endangered mangroves at heart in the country are teaming up to plant more than 14,000 seedlings of a specified species for the Kihere Mangrove Rehabilitation Project in Tanga.

Vodacom Tanzania employees, spearheaded by the company's CSR arm Vodacom Tanzania Foundation has partnered with Mikoko Scout Group in ensuring the security of the mangrove forest and enable plantation of the mangrove trees. The project aims at promoting conservation and management of the endangered mangrove forest in agreement with the Wildlife Management Authority agenda.

The Minister for Union Affairs and Environment, Mr January Makamba said it was the responsibility of everyone to rehabilitate and improve the comanagement and protection of the endangered mangrove forests considering the increase of illegal harvests, so that it can continue to provide the essential life-sustaining goods and services for coastal communities.

"I highly commend the joint efforts made by Vodacom Tanzania and Mikoko Scout Group to conserve the mangrove ecosystem of Tanzania - which is a positive way forward for future generations." Mikoko Scout Group is committed to recruiting 750 scouts to participate in Mangrove plantation in Tanga, Dar es Salaam and Mtwara in which more than 130,000 mangroves will be planted.

Addressing journalists in Tanga, Vodacom Tanzania Director of Corporate Affairs and Vodacom Foundation, Ms Rosalynn Mworia said that it's a crucial time to work in solidarity and take action to save the mangroves. "The mangrove species in Tanga have been deteriorating each year due to illegal harvest and cutting down of the trees for charcoal.

Raising awareness is a crucial and sustainable approach in the conservation of these species. "This is an opportune time for all of us to come together to support the Scouts that are working tirelessly to preserve the mangrove forest - before it's too late," said Ms Mworia.

Tanzania has one of the largest mangrove areas in Africa, namely the Rufiji River Delta and like mangroves everywhere, they're under threat. Mangrove trunks are being cut for timber, poles and burned for charcoal; meanwhile, trees are being cleared to make way for rice paddies.

It is also the first African country to carry out a detailed mangrove inventory, conduct socio-economic surveys of users and prepared a comprehensive management plan for the conservation and development of its mangroves. Mangroves provide an alternative source of food, income and employment for the local fishing communities who use different mangrove species for fuel wood, fences, house construction and boat building, as well as for making fish traps and for medicinal purposes, among other uses.

Ms Mworia added that this initiative led by the Foundation presents yet another opportunity for all Vodacom employees to give back and participate in community activities. "Vodacom Tanzania Foundation gives all Vodacom employees a platform to make a difference in the lives of Tanzanians by encouraging volunteerism to various marginalised groups of people in the country that need assistance or to support a worthy cause such as environment conservation."

The Vodacom Tanzania Foundation helps women and girls across the country improve their health, access better education and create new enterprises. Working with local NGOs and partners, Vodacom Tanzania Foundation has supported over 130 projects to date investing over 17bn/- to improve the lives of those in Tanzania.

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