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Govt embrace openness, transparency in NCA, Loliondo

Govt embrace openness, transparency in NCA, Loliondo

THE government has reiterated its commitment to protect human rights in the ongoing voluntary relocation of people of Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) and Loliondo demarcation, opening doors for collaboration with Civil Societies Organisations (CSO’s). 

The Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs, Dr Damas Ndumbaro issued the government’s commitment on Wednesday during a meeting with CSOs members to discuss human rights issues in NCA and Loliondo Game Controlled Area (LGCA).

He said the government has been ensuring human rights are observed throughout the process, and that it will continue doing so for the best interests of all involved.

“Various claims have been heard from CSOs dealing with human rights, the government is committed to ensure the rights of people in Ngorongoro are protected and promoted accordingly,” he said.

His statement was seconded by the National Coordinator of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) Onesmo Ole Ngurumwa, who commended the government for the initiatives to hold meetings with human rights defenders on the matter.

He said both parties have a role to play in promoting and protecting human rights of Ngorongoro dwellers and that SCOs will continue cooperating with the government in ensuring people’s rights are observed. 

The meeting was also attended by members of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAAG).

Meanwhile, the government has announced to have completed the construction of some social infrastructures at Msomera village in Handeni District, Tanga Region to accommodate Ngorongoro residents, who have voluntarily relocated from NCA.

The Minister of State, President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government Innocent Bashungwa said in a virtual meeting yesterday that the government is currently financing the remaining projects at Msomera.

He said, so far, the government has completed construction of primary and secondary schools to enable children of the new residents to have access to education nearby their homes.

“The schools have laboratories and teachers’ offices. The government has also completed renovation of the health centre in the area, a move that aims at guaranteeing better health for the residents,” noted the minister.

He assured the government’s determination to ensure the construction of roads within Msomera village is complete within a short period to ensure all residents are well connected.

Speaking during the same meeting, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Dr Pindi Chana reassured that the government will keep observing human rights, and that those who will vacate Ngorongoro will have access to all social services in their new residencies.

She said the government has so far received 21 families with 600 people and 400 livestock that have migrated from Ngorongoro to Msomera village in Handeni.

“A total of 293 families have residences for voluntary shift to Msomera, the government has put in place proper arrangement and facilitation to ensure they move smoothly,” she explained.

On Tuesday, the government assured the international community that it abides by the rule of law and protects people’s rights in the voluntary relocation of people from NCA and Loliondo demarcation.

It insisted that the voluntary relocation of residents from NCA to Msomera village as well as the demarcation exercise at the LGCA are purely meant to protect the ecosystem.

Briefing diplomatic missions at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Liberata Mulamula said the Tanzanian government had from the word go, engaged both Ngorongoro and Loliondo residents to make the exercises successful.

She also dismissed as baseless, claims that the government was conducting forceful eviction of indigenous Maasai people, saying such misinformation is being propagated by individuals with ill motives.

Amb Mulamula called on the diplomats to be vigilant and get information from the right government sources, rather than relying on propagandas being spread on social media from individuals with reasons best known to themselves.

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Author: DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI, SOPHIA KUMKANA

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