African Hunting Firms Defended in Tanzania

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Arusha regional commissioner Isidore Shirima has defended hunting firms, saying they have contributed enormously to the development of villages surrounding their hunting blocks.

But some civic society organisations have been critical of such companies, saying they have been plundering natural resources at the expense of communities.

However, Mr Shirima cited the Robin Hurt Safaris which last year spent $8,194 on developing 13 villages located around its Burko hunting area in Monduli district.

The villages are Arkaria, Arkatani, Eluwai, Emairete, Enguiki, Lendikinya, Lepruko, Lasimongori, Mbvaashi, Mfereji, Mti Mmoja, Noondoto and Orkeswa. Each village got $630.

The local authorities where professional hunters got a quarter of all the hunting fees generated.

He was speaking after presenting a report to Vice-President Ali Mohamed Shein who is visiting the region.

At least eight professional hunting companies, including foreign ones, have been granted hunting blocks in Arusha Region. They include Northern Hunting Enterprises, Intercom Adventure, Safaris/Tanzania Game Tracker Safaris and Tawico.

Others are Otterlo Business Corporation, Old Nyika Safaris, Robin Hurt Safaris and Tanzania Bundi Safaris. There are also several other local hunting firms and licensed individuals hunting in various areas of the region.

Records at the regional secretariat indicated that Sh14.6 million was earned from exporting live animals from Arusha region by licensed dealers in 2005 and 2006.

The animals included mammals, reptiles, birds and insects.

Sh8.5 million was earned in 2005 and Sh6 million the following year. Last year's records were not available.

Eleven private firms are involved in the export of live animals. They include Aardvark Zoological Garden which generated Sh1.4 million and Sh1.4 million in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Others are Alute Investment which made Sh 663,007 from exports for both years, Aminiel Moses (Sh319,212), Anthony G. Mushi (Sh605,000), Arusha Bird Traders (Sh785,450), Banka & Seif Export Company (Sh1.9 million), Gumbo Reptile (Sh491,376) and Jamwa Trading Company which earned Sh361,302.

Other firms were Mountain Bird & Trophies which generated Sh3.9 million during the two years, O.S. Animal Market (Sh1.7 million) and Salsa Wild Farm Sh980,000.