Notes from the field…
The US Department of Interior (DOI) runs a program called the International Technical Assistance Program (ITAP) in which technical skills and training pertaining to conservation management is offered to a number of countries across the world. This program has been running in Tanzania for a number of years with several of the courses concentrating on wildlife law enforcement. ITAP approached FCF a few years back to assist with advice pertaining to the Ugalla ecosystem and wildlife law enforcement. In November, a team of ITAP trainers arrived in the Ugalla Game Reserve and FCF representatives were on the ground to meet them and offer any advice that was needed.
The training course went off well and the students from the surrounding Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and Wildlife Division received a high level of instruction.
There has been a huge demand for a microlight presence in western Tanzania and FCF pilots have been kept busy bouncing between the Ugalla and Moyowosi Game Reserves flying anti poaching patrols. Elephant poaching flared up in Ugalla and shortly afterwards reports came in from the Moyowosi that elephant poachers were conducting their unsavory business there as well.
In the Maswa Game Reserve, we were very fortunate to have Ricky De Agrela offer his flying services voluntarily for a month. Ricky has achieved status in the Guinness Book of World Records for having flown a trike microlight around the world. We were very fortunate to have Ricky in Maswa as his time here coincided with the Wildebeest migration moving into the Mbono area. Ricky flew the trike 5H-SCI and we are very grateful for him taking time away from his business to volunteer for FCF.
November has been another busy month for FCF community development.
This last week in the Maswa area we conducted the official hand over of FCF 2010 projects to the District which included the Man’wina Primary School classrooms, office building and a toilet block. This primary school is a new school on the western boundary of the Maswa Game reserve. The school will be opening in January 2011 to provide primary education for students in Mang’wina village, who up until now have had to walk to and from Mwanyahina Primary School which is over 5 miles away.
November has also been a busy month for beekeeping project implementation in Manyoni villages near the Kizigo/Muhesi GR and in Kasulu and Kigoma near the Uvinza OA and Moyowosi GR. FCF has provided hives, equipment and is conducting training for the groups in setting up apiaries in the village forest areas.
With the beginning of the academic year in Tanzanian universities and the support of Dallas Safari Club, we have been able to provide scholarships to two university students and four MWEKA Wildlife students.
With the beginning of the rainy season, the tree nursery programs are up and running again in the schools as the groups are sowing new seeds and planting seedlings. FCF is continuing to support the groups as needed.