Wildlife training institute has plans to expand campus

Speaking to the ‘Daily News,’ the Principal of Pasiansi Wildlife Training Institute in Ilemela district, Mwanza city, Ms Lowaeli Damalu says, “The protection of wildlife in Tanzania is vested in the hands of game wardens and park rangers, a number of them were trained here at Pasiansi Wildlife Training Institute.

Some of the game wardens and park rangers you see all over in the country’s most protected areas are trained at this institute.” The Institute’s vision and mission states that the Institute is to be a leader in providing appropriate training in sustainable management of natural and cultural resources and tourism. Its mission is to provide training in sustainable management of natural and cultural resources and tourism.

“I can say that to a great extent we have succeeded in fulfilling these objectives although we face a number of challenges,” says Ms Damalu. The Public Relations Officer of the Institute, Nassoro Wawa says, “The Institute runs specialised courses like law enforcement, capacity building on field data collection record keeping, climate change and participatory land use management, he explained.

In 1974, the training programme for game wardens was extended to 12 months. The adjustment was crucial to enable the game wardens and park rangers acquire certificates that will enable them improve in their careers. Ms Damalu says that practical training is a major component of the training at the Institute, “The aim of field practicals is to expose and familiarise students with the wild.”

The protected areas where the field practicals are conducted include Serengeti National Park, Ikorongo/Grumeti Game Reserves, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park. Others are, Ikona Wildlife Management Area, Arusha National Park, Maswa Game Reserve and Kijereshi Game Reserve, just to mention a few.

During the field prcticals students carry out various activities, such as counting animals, identifying plants and animals, studying animal behaviours from feeding to mating and conducting antipoaching patrols. Since its establishment 45 years ago, the Institute has trained over 3,000 game wardens and park rangers.

Currently, there are more than 16 highly competent and skilled instructors, The Principal says the Institute has also improved its infrastructure and teaching aids to facilitate learning process. “As you can see the campus is surrounded by full of a mixture of indigenous and exotic trees and plants. And this creates a micro-climate of its own kind as well as providing a botanical garden for learning purposes,” says the principal.

One of the major challenges the college is striking a balance between students needs and the Institute’s capacity. “Last year, for example, there were more than 1,500 applicants aspiring to join but the institute can accommodate only 200 students due to limited infrastructure.

“However, the institute plans to increase the number of students from 200 to at least 400 students each academic year. In order to achieve this, we intend to build more classrooms, lecture theatres and dormitories for accommodation and also improve the library and computer laboratory.”

Source: Written by DASSU STEPHEN in Mwanza

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