TANZANIA Forest Services (TFS) Eastern Zone office has said it is high time Tanzanians started doing antiquities tourism and benefit from it in different ways.
TFS Conservator of Antiquities for Bagamoyo District, Coast Region Mr Kelvin Fella said during a tour to Kaole Ruins and Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe) sites this week being part of Sabasaba celebrations. He said antiquities tourism needs to be promoted to make it well known to all people since it has a number of advantages.
"For long time, people have considered tourism as visiting wildlife area or doing ecotourism only not knowing that there are also important areas with antiquities which carry rich historical information where they can visit, enjoy and learn from them at very affordable costs," he said.
He said Bagamoyo District has varieties of historical remains like Kaole Ruins which include old graves, the first mosque and the old port which were built in the 13th century by the Shiraz people, who arrived from Iran, Iraq and Kuwait. From there one can learn how the Swahili culture and Islamic religion were introduced in our country.
Other famous attractions include the Old Fort, which was built in early 19th century, the Old Boma, which was first built by the Germans in the 19th century before it was taken by the British after the First World War in 1918 and the Germans Cemetery. Saada Msigalla from Sinza, Dar es Salaam, who was among people in the tour, expressed her satisfaction and called for people to visit antiquities sites for learning and relaxation.
TFS Eastern Zonal Manager, Ms Caroline Malundo told the 'Daily News' during an interview that the office is in the process of rehabilitating Bagamoyo district historical sites, which were formerly supervised by Antiquities Department under the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources before they were handed over to TFS in year 2019.
She said, "We are in the process of renovating our historical sites staring with Kaole Ruins and the Old Fort. In the financial year 2021 we requested and received a total of 43m/- for renovating the Old Fort building as well as other 364m/- for building lecture venues , constructing a road and doing rehabilitation at Kaole Ruins".
As for year 2022, the office have requested a total of 68 million shillings for doing small renovations and building a car parking site at Kaole Ruins.
On the other hand, the office has asked for sum of 282m/- for rehabilitating the Old Fort building. Ms Malundo pointed out that her office has been having a number of meetings with other respective departments on how the renovation activities will be conducted as the work needs special expertise and time so as to avoid doing further damage to the buildings.
"When all the procedures are complete, the work will start as soon as possible under the supervision of TFS headquarters," she said.