Arusha City has discovered a new economic niche through selling its green environment to foreign visitors who of late have been turning to environment tourism other than wildlife gazing.
The Municipal Director Engineer Estomih Chang’a revealed that recently during the special efforts to restore the city with more vegetation cover by planting some 2000 tree seedlings along the Themi River Valley which features an all-season water flow.
Mr Chang’a said of late visitors have been coming to Arusha mainly to sample the local environment. The council handles an average of 200,000 environment tourists every year.
The environment tourism is described to have the potential of earning the council an average of 30 billion/- revenue per annum and to sustain that, city fathers have embarked on planting trees practically everywhere.
The Municipal Mayor, Mr Gaudence Lyimo said in a few years’ time the municipal officials, working in conjunction with local residents, target to ensure that all areas of the city are covered by trees.
“Arusha will be a city in the forest, we want people flying above to just see green cover competing with tall buildings but our aim is that the trees should prevail and dominate the city sky,” said Mr Lyimo.
Over the weekend both the Municipal Mayor, Mr Gaudence Lyimo and the Acting Director Eng Estomih Chang’a led a number of tour operators, driver-guides as well as small scale traders operating in town for the tree-planting exercise.
Meanwhile Arusha has taken the second position after Moshi Municipality in environment conservation efforts awards of 2012 and the special certificate of recognition will be presented to the Municipal Council at the climax of the National Environment Week to be observed in Kilimanjaro region in the course of this week.
Vice President, Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal is expected to be the guest of honor during the event. He will be representing President Jakaya Kikwete.