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Tanzania’s first geopark may open with exploding volcano

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania is creating its first geopark and this maiden geology-based tourism and scientific site is likely to open with the anticipated exploding of the “Lengai” Volcano.

The Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark, earmarked to cover an area of 12,000 square kilometers of rocky hills, lengthy underground caves, lake basins, hominid discovery sites and the active Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano, is going to be another geopark on the continent.

Nickson Nyange, Public Relations Officer with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) said: “We are working to expand the country’s tourism potential by introducing attractions based of land formations, geology, history and geographical features all being packaged under the single entity of the Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark.”

Nyange said on Sunday that NCAA is the conservation institution which is behind the project.

The hot and puffing, active volcano and Tanzania’s third highest peak, Ol Doinyo Lengai Mountain will be one of the highlights for the maiden geopark because there are reports that the so-called “Mountain of God” shows signs of eruptions emanating from seismic sensors planted around it.

The volcano, which is located 150 kilometers from Arusha City and surrounded by important paleoanthropological sites, has been experiencing eruptions that are usually confined to its summit though the lava flow can extend to several miles downhill.

Sarah Stamps, a geophysicist at Virginia Tech, recently led a team of local and international researchers to predict the next major eruption. They installed five positioning sensors around Ol Doinyo Lengai and these apparently are sending back signals for impending volcanic activities.

The academics are reporting that, the mountain may erupt in a few weeks’ time and therefore necessary steps need to be taken. However, residents at Enkaresero Village, located at the foot of Lengai say, it is too early to vacate.

“We have lived here for ages,” said Mepukoli Ole Melita. “and when volcano is ripe, people here, including our livestock, can tell!”

Different with national parks, geoparks are supposed to be a unified geographical area which addresses the protection and the use of geological heritage in a sustainable way, while also promoting social and economic well-being of the people residing within the earmarked location for the park.



Tanzania telecom regulator imposes heavy fines to operators over violation

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) on Friday imposed fines to the tune of 5 million U.S. dollars to mobile phone operators for violation of subscriber identification module (SIM) cards registration rules.

James Kilaba, TCRA Director General, mentioned the fined mobile phone operators as Airtel, Vodacom, Tigo, Zantel, Halotel and Smart, adding that the fines should be paid before October 14, this year.

Kilaba said the mobile phone operators were found with eight different offences related to registration of SIM cards.

Kilaba linked the increased tidal wave of crime incidences in the country to malpractices in SIM card registration as most of the incidences involved the use of mobile phones.

“TCRA conducted investigations to verify whether the operators were complying with SIM card registration requirements,” he told a news conference in the capital Dar es Salaam.

He said the six mobile phone operators violated the Electronic and Postal Communications Act, 2010 and the Electronic and Postal Communication (Licensing) Regulation of 2011 by selling and registering SIM cards without demanding identity cards from buyers, and registering the SIM cards with unauthorized identity cards.

Identity cards required for SIM card registration include national IDs, a Zanzibar resident ID, a driving licence, a passport or a voter’s ID, said Kilaba.

He said the operators were also found with other offences including registering SIM cards without taking photos of subscribers and confirming their particulars.

“The operators activated SIM cards without comparing subscriber’s photo on IDs and the one taken during registration, allowing SIM cards to be registered using other person’s identification documents and activating them without being properly registered,” said Kilaba.

Mwigulu Nchemba, the Minister for Home Affairs, recently told the National Assembly in Dodoma that criminal incidences had increased by 7 percent.

According to Nchemba, from July 2016 to March 2017, there were 2,470 murder incidents reported during which 2,532 people were killed by criminals countrywide.

He said from July last year to March this year, police reported 56,913 criminal cases, where 53,850 cases were reported in Tanzania mainland and 3,063 were reported in the Zanzibar archipelago.



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