Bikes 4 Tanzania

Bikes give new hope in the fight against wildlife poaching

Bikes for Humanity Sydney have joined with PAWA and the PAMS foundation to deliver the Bikes 4 Tanzania project.  This project aims to provide 200 bicycles and associated equipment to local communities within the Mbarang’andu wildlife management area.

The bicycles will be given to the village game scouts to help them in their fight to protect the region’s internationally significant wildlife populations from the devastating impacts of wildlife poaching.

We’re raising money for this project through our City to Surf campaign. Join us by entering the City to Surf and registering to become part of our everyday heroes team. Or read more about the project below.

How do bicycles help?

Bicycles allow community game scouts to undertake extended patrols over longer distances. They also allow them to carry tents, food and other essential equipment so that they can stay out for a number of days at a time on patrol greatly increasing their chances of protecting the wildlife from poachers.

Some bicycles will be provided to other members of the communities including village health workers.  Here bicycles allow the health workers to travel faster, cover longer distances, see more people and carry a larger amount of medicines and equipment.

Bicycles will also support new sustainable businesses that are setting up within the wildlife corridor.  These businesses are being established as a sustainable alternative to slash & burn agriculture. Businesses include beekeeping (honey) & fish-farming enterprises.  The Bicycles will provide the transport for workers, equipment and produce increasing business productivity.

The Partnership History

Over the past 3 years the natural values of Selous-Niassa TransBoundary Conservation Area, in Tanzania and Mozambique, have been threatened by a significant increase in wildlife poaching. The PAMS Foundation has initiated a programme to help ensure the long term sustainability of this important ecosystem and improve survival of its wildlife populations.  Their programme of activities in this area includes community conservation projects such as: community ranger support and capacity building, sustainable livelihoods, reducing deforestation and human-wildlife conflict mitigation. The programme also includes management effective assurance of protected areas and conservation projects, endangered species conservation and ensuring environmentally responsible mining.

Mchomoro village scout's training on use of donated GPS and other equipment

One of Likuyu Village's game scouts

In early 2010, the Protected Area Workers Association of NSW (PAWA) entered into a partnership with the PAMS Foundation to support the community game scouts in the Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor (SNWC) and have commenced supplying basic equipment such as first aid kits, GPS units, cameras and torches. This equipment is essential to the success of the community game scouts.

However, the PAMS Foundation have identified that one of their greatest needs at this time is for bicycle transport for the community game scouts to help facilitate better law enforcement operations and slow down the unprecedented rate of poaching activities.

In May 2010 PAWA contacted Bicycles for Humanity Melbourne and Sydney seeking support to send bikes to the Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor in Tanzania for the community game scouts and other key members of these communities including natural resource leaders and health workers.

The Selous – Niassa Ecosystem

In southern Tanzania, the Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor (SNWC) and its adjacent protected areas form a globally significant landscape linkage within the Selous-Niassa Ecosystem. This ecosystem extends from Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania to Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique, covering an area of approximately 154,000km2 of Miombo Woodland, interspersed with wetlands, open woodland and riparian forest. This ecosystem forms Africa’s largest TransBoundary Conservation Area and supports Africa’s largest elephant, buffalo and sable populations as well as several threatened species.

Selous-Niassa TransBoundary Conservation Area (154,000 square km)

The Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor (SNWC) itself covers an area of approximately 17,030 km2 is home to 29 village settlements, supporting over 86 000 people. The SNWC is being formalised through the establishment of five Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

The Five Wildlife Management Areas

Of the five Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) Mbarang’andu WMA is the largest and supports the highest densities of wildlife.  Within the Mbarang’andu WMA there are 7 villages, each with 12 community game scouts.

Sadly though, Asian funded commercial poaching has reached unprecedented levels in this region of Africa. Illegal logging is another significant problem that is destroying wildlife habitat.  Community game scouts are mostly unarmed, need further training, have almost no equipment and have to take on well organised armed poachers. But, these game scouts are the last long term hope in saving this amazing wilderness area and its wildlife.

Join us and make this project happen

Your donation to this project will provide these communities with much need equipment and mobility to lift them out of poverty.

The Bikes 4 Tanzania Project is proudly supported by