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Saturday, 3 March 2018

Inauguration and hand-over of EU funded Ranger Post and Honey-processing Facility in Serengeti

The Head of Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania and the East African Community, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer, and the Country Director of Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), Mr. Gerald Bigurube, have handed over a ranger post and honey processing centre to the Serengeti District Authority and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in Ikona, in the presence of the District Commissioner of Serengeti, Mr. Nurdin Babu.

These facilities have been constructed as part of EU's broader contribution towards wildlife protection in Tanzania through a 5-year project called 'Towards effective transparent and equitable community wildlife management in Western Serengeti, Tanzania'. The project implemented by Frankfurt Zoological Society was financially supported by the EU in Tanzania and FZS for a total budget of EUR 1.4 Million and with an EU contribution of EUR 1 Million (approx. 2.75 Billion Tanzanian Shillings). The project is part of a larger 10 M EUR grant programme (approx. 27.7 Billion TZS) under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) to support Non-State Actors in working in the Environment sector with a particular focus on wildlife management, forestry, and marine ecosystem management.

Giving his welcoming remarks during the ceremony the Guest of Honour, DC of Serengeti, Mr. Nurdin Babu stated that ”on behalf of the Tanzanian Government and the people of Serengeti we are very grateful to European Union for this support towards conservation of our natural resources. Ikona WMA is very important part of the Serengeti ecosystem and this Ranger Post will contribute to make this area safe which means making Serengeti even safer for wildlife and for our visitors.“

The EU has been a long-term collaborator in wildlife conservation activities across the globe and in particular Tanzania. In the Serengeti ecosystem, the EU has been supporting wildlife conservation and human livelihoods since 2001, through various grants to FZS and Tanzania National Parks. This includes the establishment of the Ikona WMA itself in order to address the challenges of wildlife poaching and strengthening government capacity to manage the Serengeti ecosystem through various capacity building and infrastructural development.

Speaking during the ceremony, the EU Ambassador, H.E Roeland van de Geer said that "these buildings that we are inaugurating here today stand out to be an example of long term vision and investment to ensure both sustained livelihoods for communities living adjacent to the Serengeti National Park and wildlife conservation as they go hand in hand."

Country Director of Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), Mr. Gerald Bigurube said that “The EU funding in this project has been very important and today we are celebrating one of the key achievement of the project. The Village Game Scouts who are doing a wonderful job to protect our wildlife will now have a good and secure place to organise better their job. Bigurube further added that …… also beekeepers in the villages will benefit a lot from the Honey Processing Centre built through this project by improving the quality of their honey products and therefore can sell honey to the tourist market at high price.”

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