Tanzania Update August 2013 – Kondoa Rock Art Community Project

The Tanzanian Department of Antiquities and TARA organized activities for elementary students and community leaders on 15-20 August 2013 in Thawi, a village located in central Tanzania and within the Kondoa UNESCO World Heritage Rock Art site.

The overall goal of this project is to engage communities in discussions on strategies for long term conservation of the rock art sites which are severely threatened by human encroachment (cultivation, deforestation, illegal excavations, granite mining).

Over 130 primary school students (from Thawi Juu and Thawi Chini) competed for prizes in quizzes about rock art; both schools received 245 text books for their efforts. A stakeholders meeting brought together 63 community members to initiate beekeeping and forestry projects aimed at providing alternative sources of income. Stakeholders also discussed a reforestation campaign that will see 10,000 trees planted in the Kondoa conservation area.

Group activities were engaging and benefited from involvement of Kondoa District’s Divisions of Education and of Forestry. Neighbours from the Kolo village who have been involved in previous conservation activities shared their experiences on entrepreneurship and tourism. This project is supported by the African World Heritage Fund.