Unveiled: Fatal wild animal attacks in Ngorongoro

Unveiled: Fatal wild animal attacks in Ngorongoro

AT least 49 people were killed by wild animals within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) between January and September, last year.

Speaking during a Media workshop on the ongoing voluntary resettlement of Ngorongoro residents on Wednesday, the Director of Wildlife from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Maurus Msuha singled out elephants, hyenas, leopards, buffaloes and lions as animals behind the sheer number of human fatalities.

“Cases of humans getting killed by wild animals became so rampant in the area…anyone has the right to live anywhere in Tanzania, but the number of such incidents is alarming,” he said.

According to Dr Msuha, another 170 residents got injured by the said animals, while going about their daily activities within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA).

Livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys were also not spared in the killing spree by the wild animals, with the number hitting 842 by September last year, the Wildlife Director said.

“The ongoing voluntary relocation, therefore, is aimed at shielding them from more human and livestock losses,” clarified Dr Msuha.

He further described the resettlement as one of the best relocation strategies in the world.

The director informed the scribes that the government had allocated some 5,000 square kilometres of land for those wishing to relocate to Handeni, Kilindi, Simanjiro and Kiteto districts.

He further disclosed that another 22,000 acres of land had been set aside for grazing for the pastoral communities.

“The exercise has taken into consideration the aspect of human rights contrary to some baseless and unfounded reports that have been making rounds lately,” he explained.

A total 103 houses have been completed and a preparation for the construction of additional 400 houses was underway.

While acknowledging the challenges of balancing conservation and community development in Loliondo Game Controlled Area (LGCA) and the NCA, Dr Msuha maintained that the ongoing interventions in the two areas differed, but all sought to help communities in the area.

“None of the sites involve eviction of communities as it is being portrayed by some organizations,” he said.

According to Dr Msuha, placement of beacons for protected areas was a common practice across Tanzania for wildlife and forestry areas.

Last week, a multi-agency task force accomplished an exercise of installing 424 beacons in the 1,500 square kilometers area in the LGCA.

The beacons which stand at 40 centimeters each are said to be 500 meters apart, spanning a distance of 108 kilometers.

Author: EDWARD QORRO in Arusha

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