AWF - African Wildlife Foundation

02/23/2023 | News release | Archived content

AWF Hands Over Manyara Ranch Primary School to the Monduli District Council

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In the recently concluded national exams, Manyara Ranch Primary School was ranked second best in the district, with 133 out of 136 students passing and transitioning to secondary school

MANYARA, TANZANIA (February 23, 2023) - The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has today handed over the Manyara Ranch Primary School (MRPS) to the District Executive Director, Monduli District Council in Manyara. The construction was done by AWF and with the support of other donors to improve the children's access to quality education.

MRPS is a boarding school in northern Tanzania. Around 1,050 students attend the school. The student body primarily comprises of the pastoral community living in the Esilalei and Ol Tukai villages. The school was previously located in an important wildlife corridor, which disrupted classes and endangered the safety of the students. In 2008, AWF worked with the Tanzanian government to relocate the school to the periphery of the Manyara Ranch Conservancy. Preserving the ecological integrity of the wildlife corridor, ensuring the safety of the school, and maintaining the educational standards of the school were the major considerations for the relocation.

Following this relocation, the conditions at the school deteriorated because of poor maintenance and erosion. In addition to this, the school buildings had structural integrity issues. AWF developed landscape protection strategies and initiated a renovation project to improve the school's facilities and amenities. This entailed fencing, water reticulation, retaining walls, controlled pathways, and the planting of indigenous vegetation throughout the campus. Furthermore, the school was completely redeveloped and rebuilt. Construction was done in phases and was substantially completed in 2022.

AWF and Monduli District officials at the Manyara Ranch Primary School handover ceremony

"AWF is very excited to hand over the school to the Monduli District Council. It demonstrates our dedication and commitment to collaborate with the government, like-minded partners, and the community to promote conservation and education in this region. Under the stewardship of the District Executive Director, Monduli District Council, we are confident that Manyara Ranch Primary School will continue providing quality education to the children and be a model school not just for the region but the whole of Tanzania," said Charly Facheux, AWF's Senior Vice President for Conservation Strategy, Impact and Learning in his remarks.

Besides access to quality education, MRPS promotes environmental awareness through the incorporation of conservation education. The students learn more about their environment and the importance of conservation. This in turn encourages environmental stewardship from a young age. The handover of the school does not mark the end of AWF's engagement. AWF is committed to maintaining a relationship with the school, and Monduli District Council on providing technical assistance, and community support.

The Manyara Ranch is an important wildlife corridor connecting Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks and plays a vital role in enabling wildlife movement in the landscape. It hosts key wildlife populations including lions and elephants while also being home to a thriving commercial livestock program that generates community benefits.

"We have been in this landscape since 2000, working closely with the community. AWF has been working to conserve the wildlife in this landscape and the ecosystems they rely on for their survival. We engage the community to promote sustainable land use practices and reduce human-wildlife conflicts. Additionally, AWF also supports education and community development initiatives that aim to empower the community and provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to support conservation efforts and improve their own livelihoods," stated Pastor Magingi, AWF's Tanzania Country Coordinator.

AWF's Classroom Africa program provides primary schools in rural communities with a high-quality education, well-trained teachers, clean and sustainable schools, supplemental conservation education opportunities, and resources in exchange for a significant conservation commitment from the community.

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and their habitats as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 during the African independence movement in order to build our capacity to steward our natural resources, AWF articulates a uniquely African vision, bridging science, education, public policy, and field programs to demonstrate the benefits of conservation and build a future for Africa where people and wildlife thrive.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information or to arrange interviews contact Wambui Odhiambo of AWF in Nairobi, Kenya at [email protected]