More projects have been focused on conserving mangrove forests along the Coast plus Dar es Salaam areas because of regular attack on the mangrove reserves, particularly for human settlements.
In accordance with Mr. Celestine Onditi the Kinondoni District Administrative Secretary – DAS, his office had focused leaders in Hananasif, Mbweni, Msasani, Kunduchi as well as Kawe wards where you will find these mangrove reserves not to permit any construction activities to take place in the mangrove areas.
He went on to explain that they came to this decision after findings by the committee which they formed a year ago in the month of December. The committee made up of professionals from different departments with the intention of making an assessment of the level of the harm brought on by unlawful harvesting of the mangroves, and also constructing of residential houses within the mangrove reserves.
Mr. Onditi mentioned that further steps required to be taken in order to save the mangrove forests which in fact were fast vanishing. He also said that they are presently undertaking an assessment to determine how many hectares have up to now been destroyed, however it’s clear that these forests are reducing at a very worrying rate.
Besides this, he said that more awareness was needed to be made to the public in line with this issue; the local People have to comprehend the threat resulting from cutting mangroves, and also the danger of staying in an ocean area.
Mr. Danford Mwaiteleke the District Forest Officer On the other hand revealed that mangrove reserves within the Rufiji Delta have persistently still reducing after more farmers coming into that area to cultivate rice.
In addition, in an interview Mr. Mwaiteleke said that the delta area which covers an expanse of 53,000 hectares back in 2011 close to 8,700 hectares of the total expanse were occupied by farmers.
He went on to say that the land invasions by the farmers had been escalating each and every year such that by 1995 as many as 3,170 hectares were invaded, and then by 2000 the total invaded area had expanded to as many as 3,850 hectares.
He explained that his office for long has been educating the local farmers on the threats of cutting down mangrove trees; however the response has continued to be minor since farmers love the delta area because it is not conducive to the growth of garden weeds and therefore makes easier their farming.
He requested for more assistance from higher regulatory authorities to terminate this situation, cautioning that in case it continued unchecked people residing on islands in the delta could be at a greater danger of being immersed by floods.
Mangroves provide a number of advantages to the ecosystem, among which is regulating the waves of the ocean, safeguarding the coral reefs that are used by the fish since they lay their eggs there, as well as controlling soil erosion.