LIKONI FERRY USERS INCENSED OVER FRESH INCIDENT
Mid morning rush hour traffic across the Likoni channel served ferry users another shock experience, when MV Nyayo stalled before landing and drifted into the open waters of the channel. Another ferry en route was dispatched immediately to come alongside the stalled vessel to tow her back to land, but not before MV Nyayo almost collided with another ship, prompting angry outbursts by ferry users who were subjected to several hours of delays as a result. Let these people not tell us to be patient. These incidents are too many and they are recklessly endangering our lives. They talk too much how they are doing all sorts of things but they let us down very often when they have mechanical failures while crossing the channel wrote a regular contributor from Mombasa while then echoing tourism operators demands to immediately start constructing the bypass highway from the Nairobi Mombasa highway and from the international airport to provide a road link to the south coast. It is evident that the ferry is really not capable to ensure constant reliable and safe operations and during much of the day waiting takes too long. Tour busses can have priority access but must pay for 3 months in advance and we have demanded that there is a pay as you use service which smaller companies can use and pay at the gate. But really what tourism, and business need is the highway link so that we no longer are forced to be at the ferry company mercy. We have been patient for too long and this highway is so important to tourism like the airport expansion and modernization. The new highway will open a lot of extra business opportunities and bring more business to resorts in Tiwi and Diani all the way to the border at Lunga Lunga he then continued. Efforts by the companys PR manager to downtalk the incident to a small mechanical failure were also dismissed with comments not fit to repeat here. Watch this space.
Archive for May 13th, 2012
LIKONI FERRY USERS INCENSED OVER FRESH INCIDENT
FORESTRY OFFICIALS FINGERED IN ATTEMPTED FOREST GRABBING
Kazimzumbwi forest, located only some 20 kilometres south of Dar es Salaam in the Pugu Hills and adjoining the Pugu Forest Reserve, was exposed as the latest assault victim by land grabbers and corrupt officials, when the outgoing District Commissioner Ms. Khanifa Karamagi, now on transfer to her new station after recent changes in deployment made by President Kikwete, complained about attempts inspired by people in the natural resources ministry but thwarted at the time by the Ministry of Lands Housing and Human Settlement, trying to change the boundaries of the reserve.
A regular conservation source from Dar es Salaam confirmed that while that case the DC referred to was about 2 years old, efforts were ongoing to carve out a sizeable piece of land for development from the nearly 5.000 hectares forest, which was already under the British colonial rule recognized as an important natural resource and got protection as early as 1936 when it was officially made a forest reserve according to information sourced from the web.
Accusations, notably by officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, where new minister Ambassador Khamis Kagesheki last week twice vowed to find and fire corrupt officials, were in the meantime pointing fingers at housing ministry staff, alleging they were behind the latest attempt to create residential plots for development at the fringe of the forest, with both the Coast Regional Commissioner and the minister for housing Prof. Anna Tibaijuka claiming they did not have formal communications on the controversial issue. Said the source We can only hope official communication is forthcoming soon so that government can act. Two weeks ago the President fired 6 ministers when they became untenable in his cabinet after parliament dug up the dirt on them. Natural resources was one of them and we all know that illegal logging was ignored if not encouraged by them. There are lots of rumours their officials benefitted from encroaching forests and we hope the new minister will throw the lot of them out. Forests are water towers, ecological hot spots, a resource for tourism, for medicinal plants, for carbon absorption and we must protect those and not destroy them so that a few can profit. In fact, we hope that the new minister invites stakeholders to formulate a new policy on forestry which can lead to sustainable use and protects forest boundaries.
What is clear here is that with a new minister in the natural resources ministry in place, bureaucrats are more likely than not to throw up smokescreens, blaming others, to conceal their own involvement in past and current corrupt schemes but with parliament in Dodoma now having tasted the proverbial blood, after successfully getting 6 cabinet and 2 deputy ministers fired, they will be more inclined than ever before to get tip offs from whistleblowers and unearth more dirt and corruption. This is likely to force the hand of the newly appointed ministers to act ahead of parliament and to avoid facing their wrath too better find the rotten apples in their midst and deal with them. Watch this space. To better understand the location and vicinity of the forest to Tanzanias commercial capital Dar es Salaam go to: www.getamap.net/maps/tanzania/tanzania_(general)/_kazimzumbwiforestreserve/
CHEETAH ORPHANS SEE KWS AND MARA CONSERVANCY LOCK HORNS
KWS have such an ability to stir controversy and dish out slaps into the faces of their conservation partners at times said a Nairobi based conservation source before adding they might be well advised to undertake a crash course in public relations and how to build alliances instead of imposing themselves as the one and only, when discussing the case of three orphaned cheetah cubs, found on the conservancy and for some time cared for until KWS swooped in and removed them to their orphanage at the Langata headquarters.
For much of March and April the cubs were fed and protected at the Mara Conservancy offices, where they were to be reared to adulthood before being introduced to their natural habitat again, according to one Miss Foxcroft, whose passion for her cause has since spread into the social networks in Kenya as she is gathering support to have the cheetahs returned. KWS chief Dr. Julius Kipngetich in his usual swagger he had some weeks ago caused the arrest of the Eco-Tourism Kenya CEO when the two clashed over poaching statistics in turn pronounced all wildlife property of the state and, while technically correct in that, insisted that the cubs be taken to the Nairobi Safari Walk for educational purposes, a move promptly attracting such comments to this correspondent as using them as exhibits for tourists, not entirely fair as KWS will be underwriting the substantial cost of feeding and veterinary care, but also with some substance of course as the presence of the three cubs will be an added attraction. A source close to the conservancy and those wishing to see the cheetahs returned it was learned on condition of strict anonymity you think I want to be arrested too? said that a detailed proposal had been sent a week ago to KWS, outlining an action plan how to rear the cheetah cubs and then progressively re-introduce them into the wild, but in an unusually swift response they appear to have been told by KWS that the proposal could only be used for future cases and the three cubs would remain in Langata. This immediately raised the question why, if the proposal was good enough to be implemented in the future, it could not be used for the present case, with some accusing KWS of inconsistent behaviour.
A source close to KWS in turn responded, also on condition of anonymity for not being an authorized spokesperson: The cheetah population in the Mara has been going down for a long time now. Only a few cubs survive to adulthood in fact. The range of the Mara cheetahs has also been curtailed by farming activities coming close to the reserve, although some buffers are now there through several conservancies. We have enough case studies of releasing lions back to the wild, on leopards and other animals there is some experience and data but for cheetahs it is almost virgin territory. This may need more study to make sure it actually can be done without losing the animals to other predators, a sensible explanation which made the other side wonder, when told, why the KWS chief was not able to speak such language and in the words of one source rather continues to brusquely upset and confront instead of unite private conservation efforts with those in KWS.
As the saying goes here, watch this space, but in fairness also appreciate the many good things KWS does and not make the organization the punchball for the lack of finesse, eloquence and enlightenment of just one person.