Reports to the effect that the number of rhinos is rising in Ngorongoro is good news for two reasons. First, efforts to protect endangered species are evidently paying off.
Second, we have living proof that the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority is determined to protect Tanzania’s treasured wildlife.
The rhino count now stands at 45 and, if all goes well, there should be 50 of them by 2015.
The demand for ivory has exposed African rhinos and elephants to great risk. During the 1970’s and 1980s, the number of elephants and rhinos dropped drastically due to poaching.
The trend has been reversed in the past decade, resulting in an increase in the number of these valuable animals. It is not difficult to spot them these days, and this has boosted tourist numbers in our game reserves and national parks.
Tanzania earned about Sh1.901 trillion from tourism related activities in 2010. The projections for the last year were $1.7 billion. In 2010, the country earned a handsome $1.2 billion from 700,000-plus tourists, many of them from the big tourism sources.
But this is no time to rest on our laurels. Tourism is one of the key sectors that drive our economy. The relevant authorities, including Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa), should double their efforts to curb poaching and protect endangered species.So should the rest of the population, which stands to benefit from any gains in tourism.