Citizen (Tanzania)

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr

The minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamis Kigwangallah says
the Maswa Forest Reserve will not be reduced because it has been revealed
to be the natural habitat of rhinos.

Speaking during the fitting exercise of devices of the Global Positioning
System (GPS) to 18 elephants living in the forest and the Makao Community
Reserve, the minister said the forest would continue to be preserved.

Over Sh800 million was spent on the exercise financed by the Friedkin
Conservation Fund.

?There were requests through a certain MP (name withheld), who wanted us to
reduce again the Maswa Forest Reserve. However, due to a piece of
professional advice and the revelation that rhinos come from Serengeti to
this natural area, we will not reduce it again,? said the minister.

He explained that the Maswa Forest Reserve, which is bordered with the
Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Are, had currently
been encroached on, turning it into a small one. ?We cannot continue to
scale this area down because it has been revealed to be the natural habitat
of rhinos, who come from the Serengeti area,? stressed the minister.

For his part, Simiyu Regional Commissioner Anthony Mtaka pointed out that
the forest was very important to the country?s future conservation, saying
it was also the place, where wildebeest went into for reproduction.

?Hon minister, to us, as residents of Simiyu Region, this forest reserve is
very important because it is the place where wildebeest go into for
reproduction. Not only that, but also it is one of the financial sources of
our region,? said Mtaka.

Friedkin Conservation Fund Director Nicholas Negri said the Maswa Forest
Reserve and Makao Wildlife Management Areas are very important to the
country?s conservation and which?s why, he said, his institution provided
the money for keeping the elephants.