A second batch of Ngorongoro residents left for Msomera village on Friday, harboring hope about their new surroundings.
The group, which featured 28 households which equates to 143 residents and more than 718 cattle, sheep and goats got flagged off by Tourism and Natural Resources Minister, Pindi Chana at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA).
The would-be Msomera village residents left the NCAA a happy lot, thanking the government for such an initiative that seeks to strike the right balance between conservation and people’s livelihoods.
Mzee Mathayo Mamasita who lived in Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) for more than 70 years described his voluntary relocation to Handeni District as a defining moment in his life.
“We don’t want to regret when it has gotten too late, I’ve reached this decision of sound mind to reduce the pressure in the area and let conservation thrive,” said the elated Mamasita while holding his cheque given to him by the minister.
He emphasized the need of limiting human activities in the area, a move that will 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.
In her sentiments, Ms Angelista Saitoti Laizer said it was evident that the Global Geo Park site could no longer withstand the mounting pressure from human activities, hence the decision to relocate to Msomera village, Handeni District in Tanga region.
According to MsLaizer, some of the fellow villagers who moved earlier to Msomera had proven to them that their new surroundings was a striking resemblance of a place they called home for the last 60 years.
“We were a bit skeptical about Msomera not until we learnt that it also has grazing land and enough water for our livestock,” quipped the excited Msomera resident.
While urging remaining NCA villagers to follow suit, Ms Laizer showered praise on President Samia Suluhu Hassan for coming up with such a move.
Speaking earlier on, Dr Chana commended the 143 residents for heeding to the government’s call of voluntary relocation, assuring them that her office will keep a watchful eye on them.
At least 536 residents and 2,051 livestock have voluntarily moved to Msomera village in Handeni since the exercise began on June 16, 2022.
Another 5,382 residents had already registered for the exercise, as the NCAA mulls over plans of constructing 400 more houses at the earmarked 400,000 acres of land for relocated Maasai households.