Gates Foundation eye L. Tanganyika beaches

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THE Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has shown interest in investing in beaches along the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Rukwa Region, it has been revealed here.

This was revealed by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Professor Jumanne Maghembe, when winding up his five-day working tour of Rukwa Re gion that took him to Nkasi District, Sumbawanga Municipal Council and along the Lake Rukwa Basin in Sumbawanga District.

“No doubt many of you are not aware that Mr Bill Gates and his wife (Mellinda) spent nights at one of the tourist hotels along the shores of Lake Tanganyika at Kipili Village in Nkasi District (Rukwa) and in fact they have shown inter est in investing there,” added Professor Maghembe.

The Minister said that the government is in the process of merging the Lwafi Forest Reserve in Nkasi District and Kalambo Forest Reserve in Kalambo District, Rukwa Region in an effort to establish nature tourism.

According to the Minister, the upshot of having nature tourism is to conserve the forests and promote Kalambo Falls, by inviting local and foreign investors to invest in the precinct that Tanzania Forest Service (TFS) has already started improving, by constructing steps to enable people reach the bottom of the Falls.

Kalambo Falls along Kalambo River is a 772 ft (235m) single drop waterfall on the border of Zambia and Tanzania at the southeast end of Lake Tanganyika. The falls are some of the tallest uninterrupted falls in Africa after South Africa’s Tugela Falls, Ethiopia’s Jin Bahir Falls and others.

Downstream of the falls, is the Kalambo Gorge which has a width of about 1 km and a depth of up to 300m, running for about 5 km before opening out into the Lake Tanganyika rift valley. Kalambo Falls is also considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Africa, with occupation spanning over 250,000 years.

Meanwhile, Prof Maghembe said that public institutes dealing with tourism should publish tourism brochures and distribute them to local and international flights in an effort to promote tourism in Western Zone accommodating Rukwa and Katavi regions.

Prof Maghembe also declared with confidence that poaching activities in forest reserves as well as national parks in the country has declined considerably. He noted that such impressive record was made possible after the ministry decided to work closely with Inspector General of Police (IGP) , Regional Police Commanders (RPCs) and OCDs as well.

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