COMMUNITY leaders in Serengeti District, Mara Region have described Grumeti Reserves, an eco-tourism company that operates world class lodges in Western Serengeti, as role model investor in supporting local development.
“In Serengeti District, we have over 160 investors in tourism sector but we hardly see them supporting development of our people as it is the case with Grumeti Reserves,” Serengeti District Council Chairman Mr Ayub Mwita Makuruma said here recently.
“Where are other tourism investors in Serengeti, they can’t even build a toilet,” Mr Makuruma queried.
The council chairman made the remarks when he was officially receiving a donation of 120 iron sheets donated by Grumeti Reserves to assist in roofing teachers’ house at Nyichoka secondary school.
The latest donation for the public secondary school which is located at Kyambahi Ward in Serengeti Grumeti Reserves was made through its sister company of Grumeti Fund.
Speaking during the handing over occasion, Grumeti Fund Relationships Manager David Mwakipesile said the donation of the iron sheets worth over 2.8m/- is part of the investor’s support on local development in 22 villages of Serengeti and Bunda districts.
“We received a request of 115 irons sheets but we have donated 120 iron sheets to ensure that roofing of the teachers’ house is successful,” Mr Mwakipesile said.
Grumeti Fund and their eco-tourism partner companyGrumeti Reserves have both heavily invested in conservation, community development and tourism in western Serengeti for many years now.
“We also have a scholarship programme for bright students from low-income families and an entrepreneurship programme that seeks to uplift living standards of local communities economically,” Mr Mwakipesile added.
Thus, Mr Mwakipesile appealed to local communities living near wildlife conservation areas in Western Serengeti to continue supporting conservation efforts. “We should not see wild animals as our enemies,” he said.
The Serengeti council chairman Mr Makuruma reminded citizens from beneficiary villages to uphold the existing good relationship between them and Grumeti Reserves.
“Let us continue embracing the good relationship. It is time for other tourism investors to learn from Grumeti Reserves,” Mr Makuruma, who is also the CCM councillor for Busawe Ward said.
Grumeti Reserves is seen as top investor with significant contribution on sustainable conservation activities and local development in Western Serengeti, part of the great Serengeti ecosystem in Mara region