Minister orders action as loggers attack TFS staff

Deputy Minister of natural resources and tourism, Constantine Kanyasu has directed the police force to arrest people who mobilise the public to attack Tanzania Forest Service (TFS) staff at the Kumbulu forest reserve, located at the Gairo district in Morogoro region.



This follows massive logging by some of the Kumbulu villagers which TFS officers are fighting, prompting retaliatory attacks.

Kumbulu forest reserve is managed by the Gairo district council in collaboration TFS.

Kanyasu also instructed the TFS to arrest all people who invaded the forest and pay all the costs for the trees they have cut down without permission.

The directive issued when he visited the forest and witnessed the forest destruction done by some of the villagers who invaded the forest, despite the fact that they are aware that the forest had been designated as a reserve since 2008.

He said the forest destruction was a major threat to the wildlife, urged TFS to camp in the forest to control the situation.

For his part, Gairo District Commissioner (DC) Siriel Mchemba told the minister that the destruction has been existing for a long time, several measures to resolve it has failed due to the threats from invaders.

He said the villagers have the habit of sounding horn indicating that there is an enemy and then villagers get out of their home with weapons for attacking official at the forest reserve.

Mchemba said a number of TFS staff have several times survived to be killed.

The DC has asked minister to allow the forest to be managed by TFS instead of the Gairo district council as it has failed to protect and manage it.

The dispute at the forest started in 2009 after the village practice land use plan, some of village leaders were not happy with the decision as a result they mobilizing villagers to practice their daily duties inside the forest areas

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