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Tanzania eyes deal with RwandAir to ferry fish to overseas markets

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian and Rwandan officials were in talks to enable RwandAir ferry fish from Mwanza airport in northern Tanzania to overseas markets, an official said on Tuesday.

Luhaga Mpina, Tanzania’s Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, told stakeholders in the fishing industry in Mwanza city that he was confident that the deal would go through.

"Should the two sides strike a deal, it will be a massive relief for Lake Zone fish traders, who have, for a long time, been seeking an alternative airline to transport their products abroad," said Mpina.

Usually, the wholesale fish dealers in the region have been relying on Entebbe and Nairobi airports in Uganda and Kenya respectively, which they claim are more costly.

"Indeed, the talks are at an advanced stage for RwandAir planes to transport fish from Mwanza to overseas markets," said the minister.

He said the government collected 1.7 trillion Tanzanian shillings (about 726 million U.S. dollars) from the fishing industry in the 2017/18 financial year, out of which 1.1 trillion shillings were from Lake Victoria.

Sijaona James, the spokesperson of the Tanzania Fishermen Union, said over 1,000 tonnes of fish could not be exported in the past few months because of transport problems.

The total loss of the exports destined for Japan and Israel stood at 5.5 billion Tanzanian shillings, said James.


Tanzania to employ game scouts to control raids of wild animals

DAR ES SALAAM (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities on Saturday directed councils across the country to employ game scouts for preventing wild animals from wreaking havoc to human settlements and farms.

Constantine Kanyasu, the deputy minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, made the directive following reports of deaths of people and destruction of farm crops by wild animals that raided human settlements and farms in different parts of the country.

He said successful anti-poaching operations pioneered by President John Magufuli resulted in an increase in the populations of elephants, hippos and buffalos that strayed into human settlements and farms, wreaking havoc.

"Most of the raids by the wild animals occur in villages located near game reserves and national parks," said Kanyasu on his official tour of Mara region.

He said directors of councils throughout the country should set aside budget for employing game scouts that will assist in making sure that the animals were not harmful to mankind.

The official said the move to employ game officers will help reduce human-wildlife conflicts in areas adjacent to game reserves.

"The employment of game scouts will reduce the amount of money being spent by the government to compensate people who are being attacked by the animals," said Kanyasu.

Vincent Naano, Musoma district commissioner, said between January and March this year, wild animals attacked and killed 10 people in the district and destroyed 1,059 hectares of farms.

Tanzanian minister declares war against 'masterminds' behind illegal immigrants

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Minister for Home Affairs, Kangi Lugola, on Tuesday warned the masterminds behind the influx of illegal immigrants into the east African nation, saying their days were numbered.

"The days of people who engage in bringing illegal immigrants in the country are numbered," said Lugola during a meeting with members of the parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, security and defense.

The minister directed the Department of Immigration to work closely with the police force in unearthing the masterminds of the human trafficking.

He was speaking shortly after the committee had inspected the construction of the headquarters of the Immigration Department in the capital Dodoma.

"Both the institutions should work together in ensuring that the masterminds behind this illegal business are arrested and brought to book," said Lugola.

In January this year, Lugola initiated another crackdown on illegal immigrants, targeting borders with countries in the Great Lakes region.

The minister ordered immigration officials to conduct house-to-house searches in Kagera and Kigoma regions, which border Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The operation was expected to be completed in time for local government elections in the targeted regions, which were scheduled for July, Lugola said in his directive to Commissioner General of Immigration Anna Makakala.

The operation also involved a fresh verification of national identity cards issued to residents of those regions over the past few years.

UNV programme vows to assist Tanzania’s Zanzibar with specialist doctors

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme on Tuesday pledged to support the health sector in Tanzania’s Zanzibar by providing specialist doctors.

Olivier Adam, Executive Coordinator of United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, made the pledge during his talks with his host, Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein.

The two discussed a number of issues including ways on how to cement the existing relationship.

Adam also pledged continued support to Zanzibar’s development endeavour, noting that UNV works with experienced personnel who can assist Zanzibar in a number of sectors.

According to him, UNV programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide.

It works with partners to integrate qualified, highly motivated and well-supported UN volunteers into development programming and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism.

For his part, Shein called on the UNV to assist Zanzibar for science subject teachers in secondary schools.

He said despite government efforts to sensitize students to learn subjects, a deficit of teachers is a major challenge.

He appealed to the UNV to help Zanzibar with specialist doctors to conduct complicated surgeries as the government strives to train its own doctors.

He also commended UNV programme for its crucial roles in the implementation of different development projects in the archipelago.

Shein revealed that the UNV programme has for years supported Zanzibar’s development in the health, agriculture and several other sectors.


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