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african conservation tanzania

Melly Reuling: Field Coordinator

Wildlife scientist Melly Reuling is currently overseeing critical  conservation projects in one of Tanzania's most fragile wilderness areas, the West Kilimanjaro Basin. She began survey and monitoring work in the 1980's for the Serengeti Wildlife Research Institute and other government agencies with Amboseli elephant researcher Joyce Poole.  Now she manages the West Kilimanjaro project in cooperation with local game scouts and village officials.

For more than ten years, Melly's projects have included extensive wildlife surveys,  land use management plans, game scout training, and development of monitoring projects.  Additional projects will address developing responsible eco-tourism,  anti- poaching activities and establishing Community Based Conservation (CBC) projects to ensure protection of these important ecosystems for the future.

"If we concentrate only on the animals and ignore the people, we miss the purpose of environmental conservation. So much of what goes on in this world is interconnected now. The animals no longer live in isolation and peace. we can not conserve the wildlife without thinking about and respecting the needs of the people who also need to use the land to meet their needs. If we can find a harmonious balance it would be ideal."

Joseph Lendiy: Field Coordinator

As a young Masai Joseph Lendiy left his homeland went to the US and earned a Masters degree in Range Management from Colorado State University. After school he returned to Tanzania and served Tanzania in various governments posts concerning range and resource management. Eventually he retired from the government and returned to his home village of Tinga Tinga in West Kilimanjaro to see what contribution he could make. He currently is the onsite manager of the West Kilimanjaro Project. He is the coordinator of the survey and monitoring work carried out by the 12 fieldmen from Tinga Tinga. He is also leader of the primary school conservation program. Tinga Tinga is very lucky to have a person with the skills, drive, and commitment of Joseph Lendiy in their village.

Kim Ellis-Josch: Field Coordinator

Kim Ellis has devoted her adult life to wildlife and natural resource conservation. While struggling to help threatened wildlife at Kora National Reserve in Kenya (1984-1988), Kim experienced some of her most rewarding work rehabilitating lions and leopards for re-introduction into the wild by following the lead of her mentor, George Adamson (Born Free). When George Adamson was murdered and the project brought to a halt, she moved on to her next project with her partner Tony Fitzjohn, the rehabilitation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania (1989-1993), and assisted to establish a basic infrastructure and management base for the betterment of the environment and to begin further wildlife re-introduction work.

In these earlier projects Kim realized that the "people equation" was neglected. Demands for grazing space and heavy poaching were affecting the work no matter where she went. Therefore, in 1994 Kim founded Tazama!Trust in order to try and achieve a more wholistic approach to conservation. While gaining an understanding of the interconnectedness of people, wildlife and the environment, Kim set out to raise awareness of the interdependence of these entities and faced the challenge of how to weave them together into a wholistic project.

Today, Tazama! Trust, under Kim's guidance, serves as an umbrella not only for the projects she establishes and supervises, but also for a wide spectrum of projects which support and empower Africans to understand the interdependence and connectedness of all users of the land for proper Natural Resource Management. Her goal is to conserve Natural Resources and keep intact important wildlife habitats. In addition, she seeks to help encourage local communities to be active managers in the conservation of wildlife and Natural Resources on their land while improving the quality of their lives.

William Joseph: Field Coordinator

William is the front man for Maajabu. He is responsible for keeping things running, for making contacts with schools and villages and organizes the showing of films. He has learnt from scratch how to operate the system and is a keen environmentalist, passionate about his work.

William was born in Mpanda, western Tanzania and started life as an acrobat. He then traveled looking for a life in Zambia and Zaire and finally landed in Arusha. He started in the safari business first as a casual labourer and when Maajabu got it's projector, William started to help with the shows. Now William coordinates and organizes all the film shows. He would like to learn more about communities and environmental issues that affect these communities. William lives in Arusha with his wife and daughter.

George Deo: Field Coordinator

George was born in Mwanza in 1982 and was orphaned at the age of 3. He was taken by his older brother to the Mkombozi residential center in Moshi for their care. He remained with Mkombozi who sponsored his education to secondary level. He then worked as an assistant at Mkombozi in the music department for a year and then started working on a casual basis in Arusha. He has just started to work with Maajabu this year. He would like to study to become a social worker. He now lives in Arusha with friends.

Matthew Melita: Field Director

Matthew Melita was born in 1962. He is a Maasai and thus is fluent in Ki-maasai, Ki-swahili and English. He is married with three children. He was brought up in a polygamous family, his father has five wives, his mother being the third in the series of marriages. He has thirty two brothers and sisters. He had a complete education through University level.

In1988 he began work at Technical College in Arusha , Tanzania as a Tutor in Physics, Mathematics and Engineering Science. He worked at this College for sixteen years before relocating to the Institute of Accountancy Arusha (IAA) an Institute among Institutions of higher learning in the country as an Examinations Officer. He has done further training in computers, HIV/AIDS coordination and curriculum development.

He has worked with TAZAMA! TRUST since 1995 as a facilitator in the field in various villages in Kiteto District, Simanjiro District and Selela, Esilalei, Mbaashi, and Engaruka Villages in Monduli District. Other areas where he has facilitated include Sinya, Tingatinga and Ngereyani villages in West Kilimanjaro .

His role included but was not limited to mobilization/sensitization of local communities on various matters pertaining to Community conservation including Land Use Plan, management of natural resources and formulation of Village By-laws which serve as a tool to protect the land for meaningful and sustainable conservation of natural resources. He has insisted on a full participatory approach of each community to bring awareness and enable local communities to make informed decisions and most importantly be part and parcel of the whole process.

Base line surveys were intensively conducted as a necessary step towards successful implementation of all issues concerning community conservation which Melita participated in. The whole process was made possible and successful through collaboration between TAZAMA! TRUST and other stakeholders in Community conservation.