Three companies operating in Namtumbo District, Ruvuma Region, Mantra Tanzania Limited, Game Frontiers Tanzania Limited and Tanganyika Wildlife Safari Corporation under the ‘Friends of Mbarang’andu umbrella have donated 45m/- to support corporate social responsibility programmes in seven villages in Mbarang’andu Wildlife Management Area (WMA) within the Selous Game Reserve.
The funds will among other things finance education, water supply, beekeeping activities and tightening of security in the reserve in a bid to intensify the fight against poaching.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held at the weekend, Friends of Mbarang’andu chairperson Moshen Abdallah Shein said they have already given out up to 300m/- to support various community development projects in the last few years.
“Our support is to ensure that communities where we operate get access to the basic human services. We realise the importance of having good investor-community relations that is why we do whatsoever is possible to ensure that our relations get better. he said.
Sheni urged the local communities to play a leading role in ensuring that resources within the area among which include the reserve remain intact if they are to continue benefiting from the present and upcoming investors.
“You are getting support from various investors because you have resources that include wildlife which are renewable. Play your part well by ensuring that such resources remain intact otherwise the investors won’t have anything to give out if such resources are depleted,” he urged.
For his part, Mantra Tanzania Limited managing director Asa Mwaipopo said his company will work hand in hand with various communities in the area to ensure that the environment at Namtumbo and its surroundings are well preserved.
“We are awaiting an operation licence for our Mkuju River Uranium Project and once it is secured, we will work hand in hand with all stakeholders to ensure that the surrounding areas are conserved like we have done in the past,” he said.
The Namtumbo lawmaker, Vita Kawawa, however urged the beneficiaries to ensure that the funds are used on the principal of transparency and accountability in order to ensure that all communities benefit.
“You should not develop hatred among yourselves. These funds are for the benefit of the entire community. Please ensure that these funds serve the intended purposes,” he cautioned.
Earlier, the newly appointed Namtumbo District Commissioner Abdallah Suleiman Lutavi said there was a need for the government to look for community-friendly investors to minimise the occurrence of wrangles between the communities and investors.