By Lake Zone Watch Writer
Since its establishment in Serengeti District a couple of years back, the Grumeti Reserves Company has been instrumental in fostering community development of areas bordering Ikorongo- Grumeti Game Reserves and the Ikona Wildlife Management Area (WMA), says Kitigani Mtiro, a local government leader.
“ Grumeti Reserves has been very helpful in many ways. The company supports education for our children and sponsors various community development activities,” Park Nyigoti village chairman, Mtiro said.
Thanks to Grumeti Reserves, the villagers are now enjoying the fruits of wildlife conservation.
He said recently, the village received more than 160 m/- from the Ikona WMA which is part of the conservation benefits.
Significant part of the Ikona WMA revenue comes from Grumeti Reserves, an ecotourism company that owns and runs world class luxurious lodges in Western Serengeti.
“Conservation of wildlife is beneficial to us because our people have to contribute for the development projects and this has been the practice since we established Ikona WMA”, the local government leader said.
Kitigani called upon the villagers to continue supporting ongoing anti- poaching efforts at Ikona WMA and the game reserves which form integral part of the Serengeti ecosystem.
He also stressed that part of the village income received recently will be directed towards construction of a new community secondary school, in a village whose inhabitants live near the game-protected areas, including the world-famous Serengeti National Park.
“We will allocate about Shillings 50 m/- for the construction of the first secondary school in our village. It is necessary that we have a secondary school around here due to the geographical location of our village. “Kitigani said.
Part of the money will be injected into putting final touches on the teachers’ staff room at the public primary school, according to the local government leader
Meanwhile, Park Nyigoti eagerly awaits the commencement of the Grumeti Reserves investment plan that takes part of the village land covering 137 hectares.
The villagers say the investment plan will be a great deal of generosity that will help develop conservation activities and speed up local area development through revenue from Grumeti Reserves .
“Once the investment plan takes off, we will get more money to improve social services while part of the income will be used to boost construction of our secondary school, “ the village leader said.
Serengeti district council approved the investment plan several months ago.