More Ngorongoro residents to relocate 

DAR ES SALAAM: AS the government continues with the construction of 5,000 houses in Msomera, Saunyi and Kitwai villages, another set of over 500 households are set for relocation from Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in Arusha Region.

The Chief Government’s Spokesperson, Mr Mobhare Matinyi disclosed this during a press conference held in Dar es Salaam, on Sunday indicating that out of the 500 households 406 household’s assets have been verified waiting for the required process to be finalised.

“Currently, the construction of 5,000 houses is ongoing at Msomera Village making up a total of 10,000 houses which are in different stages.

“Out of the 5,000 houses 2,500 are being constructed in Msomera, Saunyi in Kilindi District (1,000 houses), and 1,500 houses will be constructed in Kitwai of Simanjiro District,” said Mr Matinyi.

He added: “Upon their completion the registered households in Ngorongoro will be relocated, whereby the remaining will continue to be encouraged and educated on the importance of moving from the area.

According to him, the second phase which began in July, this year is being fast-tracked to see the possibility to complete the process by March, next year. On the other hand, an assessment will be carried out to determine the number of people who will have shifted in the planned area or elsewhere and the ones remaining in Ngorongoro.

He noted already 5,156 plots have been surveyed, stressing that the process has taken into consideration a lot of caution in the entire government coordinated voluntary relocation exercise.

Elaborating further, Mr Matinyi noted the privileges which have been granted to the people of Ngorongoro were rare including the chance to obtain a three-bedroom house constructed in a 2.5-acre land accompanied with a five-acre farm and its title deeds.

On the other hand, the people will have access to all crucial social services like schools, health facilities, road infrastructure, electricity, water and a compensation of their immovable assets in Ngorongoro and an additional extra 10m/-.

Besides, the people who have been lined up for moving will get a chance to freely move their belongings including livestock.

The Chief Government Spokesperson revealed that in the entire history no government has ever used a similar mechanism to move its citizens from one area to another.

He refuted claims that the government was using force to relocate people in the allocated areas, noting that the mechanism being used was mainly awareness and persuasion by presenting them with advantages for moving from Ngorongoro.

“Whereas the literacy rate in the country is considered to be high, this was not the case for Ngorongoro whose 63 per cent of its population can neither read nor write. The same applies to a high rate of health challenges like kwashiorkor in children, malnutrition and poverty,” he stated.

He pointed out that the government values its people and has respect for human rights. That was why they were doing all they could to rescue them and their children from dangerous animals.

As some people in Ngorongoro were trying to transform their lives, he said they could not do so because the available guidelines do not permit them.

In August 2021, at least three children from a single family were attacked by lions and managing to escape after climbing a tree.

“A few days ago, I was in Ngorongoro without any police escorts but only the company of staff at Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) managed to talk friendly with the residents who gave their positions regarding the relocation,” he said.

Mr Matinyi noted that the majority of the people who said they did not want to move from there mostly gave factors which have already been resolved by the government like the issue of grazing land.

He revealed that the designated area previously served as a conservation area, it was therefore selected due expert reasons like absence of diseases and among others.

He invited international institutions and media to visit the area to witness what the government was doing specifically in transforming the conserved area.

“Ngorongoro is a special conserved area which must be protected and preserved for tourism, conservation and future generations. The present state of which 44 per cent is accumulated by human beings and livestock was not favourable despite the fact that the law which established Ngorongoro recognises the availability of people,” he said.

He said the government is overwhelmed with the grown population of 115,000 people and 806,000 livestock as compared to the 8,000 people and livestock present in 1959.

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