In what seems to be added efforts in the ongoing war against wildlife poaching and illegal harvesting of other natural resources, women in Babati District of Manyara have just been enlisted to combat the rackets.
The Chem-Chem Association which conducts tourism and conservation activities within the Burunge Wildlife Management in Manyara is now involving female residents of Babati in conservation activities through sports.
Chem-Chem has been organizing a series of annual soccer leagues in the precinct, targeting to make the events communal platforms of raising awareness on the importance of conserving natural resources and protecting wildlife.
The football matches usually involve soccer teams from over ten villages in the rural parts of Babati District.
But in the past, the football leagues and sporting Bonanzas used to involve only the men’s team.
For the first time this year, however the Chem-Chem Management has introduced Women Football League, which now sees young female sports personalities displaying their soccer talents alongside their male counterparts.
The Community Projects’ supervisor at Chem-Chem, Nganashe Lukumay revealed that female soccer bonanzas are debuting this year in efforts to in cooperate more villagers in the war against poaching activities.
Nganashe was speaking at the inaugural female football match between the teams from Mwada and Maweni Villages.
The sporting bonanza was specifically organized to raise awareness over poaching cases, precisely recent events where racketeers have been targeting giraffe species in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area.
A number of culprits have been arrested in connection with the crime and some already arraigned in court.
Nganashe said in addition to actively involving women in sports, the association also continues to support income generating activities as well as funding education and health sectors in the locality.
Elizabeth Simba is a trainer who mentors members of the local women enterprising groups in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area (BWMA) and she says Cheme-Cheme Association has been helpful in supporting business projects being undertaken by local women groups.
“They usually create business projects for local villagers, issue funds for capital and support our trade,” said Ms Simba.
On his part, the chairperson of Chem-Chem Cup Bonanza, Erasto Belela said this year’s competitions have grown bigger, with more teams and players, but also bigger and better prizes.