Expedite Msomera relocation, VP tells NCAA

VICE- PRESIDENT, Dr Philip Mpango has challenged the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority to expedite the voluntary relocation of residents from the protected area.

The move is aimed at implementing President Samia Suluhu Hassan directive geared towards striking the right balance between conservation and people’s livelihoods.

It also seeks to save the Man and Biosphere Reserve from extinction.

Dr Mpango, who was speaking shortly after after laying the foundation stone on the ongoing construction of the state-of-the-art NCAA’s headquarters in Karatu midweek, rallied the conservation agency to fast-track the process in salvaging the biosphere reserve.

“While commending you for successfully completing the first phase of voluntary relocation, it is still important to expeditiously execute the exercise as we move to the second phase as we strive to reduce pressure in the area,” the Vice-President observed.

Dr Mpango further commended NCAA for taking a lead role in rescuing the world heritage site by moving their offices from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

“This is a clear gesture on how you are eager to make conservation sustainable,” he said.

Earlier on, Tourism and Natural Resources Minister, Mohamed Mchengerwa informed the Vice President that a total 551 households which equates to 3010 residents had already moved to Msomera village in Handeni District, Tanga Region as of January this year.

The residents were joined by 15,321 livestock in their new surroundings.

“Those willing to move to Msomera have continued to register and we hope to start the exercise this month,” said the minister.

According to Mr Mchengerwa, the second phase of the voluntary exodus is due to completed in December this year.

The government had identified Msomera village in Tanga and Kitwai in Simanjiro, Manyara region as ideal areas to relocate those willing to vacate the mixed wild heritage site.

Those who have since moved to Msomera have slowly but surely been adjusting to life after the government provided them with houses and grazing lands

The number of humans living in Ngorongoro has shot up from 8,000 in 1959 to more than 110,000 in 2021.

The livestock population has also grown even more quickly, from around 260,000 head in 2017 to over one million today.

The sheer increase in the number of residents has seen livestock competing for grass with wild animals, mushrooming of human settlements that have in turn scared away wild animals and the escalation of Human Wildlife Conflicts (HWCs).

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