THE ongoing voluntary relocation of residents from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is now paying off, following reports of the restoration of depleted vegetation in the area.
According to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) Deputy Conservation Commissioner Christopher Timbuka, the greener grasses inside the NCA are getting replenished day by day, 100 days since the shift to Msomera village began.
“It was rewarding to see the area restoring its glory days with the vegetation getting restored since the exercise started in June this year,” explained Dr Timbuka shortly before seeing off 133 Ngorongoro residents at the NCA headquarters yesterday.
Dr Timbuka noted that it is encouraging to see NCA restoring its lost glory, assuring of better days ahead as the relocation continues to gather pace.
He reserved praise to the government for a move that seeks to protect Tanzania’s natural attractions.
“We owe the government so much gratitude for the ecological change we are witnessing in the NCA, this means Zebras and other wild animals will be assured of plenty of grass and other nutrients to feed on,” said the elated Dr Timbuka.
The deputy conservation commissioner reiterated that the ongoing voluntary exodus from Ngorongoro to Msomera village in Handeni District, Tanga Region, seeks to save the Man and Biosphere Reserve from extinction.
By 1959, the population of the NCAA was said to have been around 8,000.
Today, the number of residents in the area is projected to have hit 110,000, adding pressure in conservation activities in the Mixed Wild Heritage site.
The sheer increase in the number of residents has seen livestock competing for grass with wild animals, mushrooming of human settlements that has in turn, scared away wild animals and the escalation of Human Wildlife Conflicts (HWCs).
More than 29 households boarded NCAA’s buses on Thursday for Msomera, harbouring hopes for better days ahead.
The visibly excited residents were accompanied by their livestock, numbering 788.
Earlier on, speaking on behalf of fellow villagers moving to Msomera, Mzee Sayanga Karani expressed gratitude to the government for establishing the village, which he said they will now call their permanent home.
“There were so many restrictions while coexisting with wild animals back at NCA, we should all be rejoicing about getting relocated knowing that we will be free to go about with our normal lives,” said Mzee Karani, who is also a ‘Laigwanan’.
Around 1000 residents and more than 5,000 livestock have voluntarily moved to Msomera village in Handeni since the exercise began on June 16, 2022.
Another 5,600 residents had already registered for the exercise, as the NCAA mulls over plans of constructing more than 500 units at the earmarked 400,000 acres of land for relocated Maasai and Datoga households.