Authorities in northern Tanzania have started working on measures towards preserving the country’s iconic historic features and tourist destinations which are being targeted by vandals and thieves, an official said on Saturday.
Reports have it that thieves are looking to illegally remove bronze, copper or other metals to sell on for scrap.
Arusha Declaration Monument, one of the iconic features of the northern Tanzania’s tourist hub of Arusha, is now under threat from vandalism.
This is raising fears on the security of other tourist attractions in the country’s tourist hub, after a plaque made of copper displayed below the monument with inscriptions of its significance to the history of the town and country has been plucked off by unknown people.
Arusha City Mayor Gaudence Lyimo said on Saturday that his office has started working on a programme to ensure all the monuments are protected for the current and future generations.
He attributed the situation to the failure by the Arusha City Council authority to recruit staff responsible for caring historical sites.
“So, we are going to recruit persons who will be responsible for taking care of the facility,” he said.
The monument was unveiled in 1977 to commemorate 10 years of Arusha Declaration, the Tanzania’s most prominent political statement of African socialism and self-reliance.
The northern zone manager of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Willy Lyimo expressed his worries on the theft and little care taken, saying this could impact on the number of visitors seeking information on important sites in Arusha.
“The visitors will not get important information on the monument,” he said, noting that the statute used to attract significant number of visitors, including tourists.
“This is a place where Arusha Declaration was born. Yet it is under threat of being further vandalized,” he said, adding that the changing management of the site between different government ministries and departments may have complicated matters.
One of the items plucked off the towering monument in the heart of the town is a plaque made of copper which was displayed below the monument amid claims of little care of the facility.
Lyimo said TTB has struggled to seek information contained in the plague carted away from the Antiquities Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism but without any success.
He says the tourism promotion body was keen to restore the damaged part of the monument by having another plaque with vital information on Arusha Declaration but with little support from other stakeholders.
Arusha regional police chief Liberatus Sabas pledged to work on the threat by tracking down the culprits.
Arusha Declaration Monument is one of the iconic historical features of Arusha, the others being the Clock Tower and the Natural History Museum. Both of them attract thousands of visitors every year.
The Clock Tower is said to be midway between Cairo and Cape Town while the Natural History Museum has thousands of collections of hominid remains picked from Olduvai Gorge and other areas in northern Tanzania. Enditem