Dar es Salaam. The Hadzabe community living in Yaeda valley in Mbulu district have won world conservation award known as equator prize for their efforts to conserve environment.
The award, which is hosted by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) will see the hadzabe receive $10000 (approximately Sh22 million).
They have been awarded for their innovation in protecting environment in the valley. Their representatives will be travelling to New York tomorrow, September 22.
The Hadzabe won the award through their collaborative project with Carbon Tanzania Company, Nature Conservancy and Dorobo Fund to implement various projects to conserve lower Yaeda forest. Among other things, the project entails good land use planning.
Speaking to The Citizen, Carbon Tanzania Company Limited Mr Marc Baker said apart from the award the villagers have received Sh160 million from the developing countries, which are leading in air pollution.
In New York the Hadzabe will join more than 223 communities from other 78 countries, who have won the award.
Ezekiel Philipo one of Hadzabe, who will be travelling to New York said, “we didn’t understand the importance of preserving environment until the introduction of this project.”
The country now wants to aggressively promote the Southern Highlands, where essentially there are more and unexplored attractions than the North, including the country’s largest National Park, Ruaha, Africa’s largest Game Reserve, Selous, the world’s flower haven, Kitulo.
The Southern Circuit also includes Katavi, Kitulo, Mahale, Udzungwa Mountains, Mikumi National Parks, two rift valley lakes (Nyasa and Tanganyika), areas of cultural interest, and access to the primary gateway town of Iringa.
Initiatives to map the South into global tourism map is being undertaken by Regional Administrative Secretaries from seven southern precincts, including Iringa, Mbeya, Njombe, Rukwa, Katavi, Songwe and the slightly central, Morogoro.
The move, according to Iringa Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) Ms Hapiness Saneda, is not aimed at shifting tourism focus from the North to the South, but rather to roll out more attractions so that the country could get new varieties of leisure visitors as well as persuading those who had already toured Tanzania to come back for new adventures.