The Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF) has had another successful year thanks to the generous support of our donors, volunteers, team members and many advocates across the globe. It is heartening to see the tremendous positive impact of our work throughout Tanzania.
With deep gratitude for your dedication to our mission and excitement for new endeavors, we look forward to the coming year. Here’s to our continued investment in the future of Tanzanian wildlife and communities in 2014.
Anti-Poaching – 2013 Results
To date, FCF teams on the ground have apprehended over 1,215 poachers and confiscated 163 firearms. Additionally, over 616 snares have been removed, 3,700 hardwood planks have been confiscated and well over 21,835 head of livestock have been herded out of the protected areas in which we operate.
Weapons Handling & GPS Training: Tanzanian authorities granted permission to FCF anti-poaching teams in Maswa and Mwiba to carry firearms while conducting patrols. In April 2013, FCF implemented a firearms training program to teach selected rangers how to safely deploy with a weapon. Eleven rangers have passed through the Advanced Weapons Handling course to date and follow-up training will be held early next year.
Patrol teams have received GPS training for the new Patrol Planning and Feedback system which will use GPS and GIS data to improve the overall coverage and effectiveness of our anti-poaching efforts.
New Wet Season Microlight Base: In January 2013, FCF established a Microlight operations base in Kaliua Village, mid-way between our Moyowosi and Ugalla concessions. The development of this base enabled the microlight to fly on patrols in both concessions during the rainy season, which was previously not possible. Information from these flights led to a number of successful ground operations in both Ugalla and Moyowosi concessions.
Uvinza / Moyowosi Weapon confiscation operation: During May and June 2013, the FCF teams used intelligence gained in the Moyowosi and Uvinza concessions to locate and confiscate 29 muzzle loaders, a shotgun, a rifle and four SMGs with the assistance of local police. This operation led to the successful arrest of 15 suspected poachers and was reported on local television news.
Maswa cattle operation: This year FCF again organized and funded an operation in Maswa Game Reserve aimed at halting the ongoing problem of cattle encroachment. The operation started in early July and lasted ten days with good results leading to the compounding of 35 individual herds of cattle and the fining of the cattle owners. This operation was executed with the cooperation of local law enforcement supported by 15 policemen and 15 game scouts. Thirty-two FCF rangers took part and six FCF vehicles were used.
FCF remains committed to education in Tanzania through the student sponsorship program. We have continued to support over 150 secondary school students through donor support and funds generated through hunting. In 2013, through the generous support of the Dallas Safari Club and the Sackman Family, FCF sponsored students at university level at the Mweka College of African Wildlife Management, the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Dodoma. FCF has also sponsored students at Teacher’s Training Colleges and Vocational Centers.
FCF continues to support secondary students from the villages in their project areas and has improved the screening and selection process to enroll high-aptitude students with the motivation to succeed.
In addition to the funds generated through hunting, several donors have provided funding for other projects such as playground construction and provision of hot meals for students in school. We would like to make special mention of the following donors for their generous contributions to our work:
• The Kelter Family for their support for the Mwangudo Primary School Playground.
• The Todd Brock Foundation for their contribution to the Mangula Primary school in Longido district.
• The Mzuri Wildlife Foundation for their on-going support of the Olosiva and Makat Primary School Lunch
Mwiba Makao Community Center, Police Station and Water Project
On May 28, 2013, we celebrated the handover of the Mwiba Community Center and Police Station to the village of Makao. Makao is adjacent to the Maswa Game Reserve and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority. FCF raised the money to build these key community assets and involved the village in the design and construction to ensure everyone felt a sense of ownership and pride in these eco-friendly facilities.
The Community Center offers a place for the people of Makao to come together and benefit from the center’s three primary functions: 1) to facilitate early childhood development and raise awareness around healthcare and HIV, 2) to provide environmental education, and 3) to help community members to develop skills and knowledge that will help prepare them for jobs and markets throughout Tanzania.
The new Village Police Station is a tremendous advancement in the maintenance of law and order in this important area of Tanzania. At the handover ceremony in May, the Friedkin Family committed to sponsoring the Village Water Project whereby FCF drilled a borehole and installed a solar powered pump to ensure a reliable water supply.
Village Community Banks (VICOBA)
In 2013, FCF Community Development expanded its Village Community Banks (VICOBAs) program in western Tanzania to include communities around the Ugalla and the Moyowosi Game Reserves. VICOBAs are savings and microfinance groups which target low-income community members to encourage saving and provide access to micro-loans for small enterprise development.
This year, with a donation from Mzuri Wildlife Foundation, we donated 200 modern beehives to Tumo VICOBA group based in Sikonge Disrict Tabora region. The group will later pay back a portion of the beehive purchase cost which will make funds available for both income-generating projects and other well-established community groups.
Our FCF government liaison, Pratik Patel, is to be congratulated for completing a 400 mile (650 km) walk from Arusha to Dar es Salaam in 3 weeks, to raise public awareness of the elephant poaching crisis.
The walk ended in Dar Es Salaam and featured the handover of a check for $2,250,000 to FCF from the Friedkin group of companies in Tanzania, representing their 2013 anti-poaching and community development budget – the biggest single private donation towards wildlife conservation in Tanzania.
FCF anti-poaching efforts were further improved this year with the addition of a second helicopter – the Robinson R44 which will be permanently based on the Mwiba Wildlife Reserve. Experience has quickly proven that the helicopter is unmatched in efficiency in the patrolling of large wildlife areas and in its anti-poaching role.
Overall, 2013 has been a fantastic year for the Friedkin Conservation Fund as we have continued to make a meaningful impact in Tanzania while deepening our relationships throughout the nation. Together, we look forward to building on these achievements in 2014.
- Alexa Andrews