Residents condemn attack on journalists

ARUSHA : NGORONGORO residents, who have volunteered to relocate to Msomera and other areas in the country, have condemned the skirmishes that erupted at Endulen Ward, here recently.

The residents called upon the instigators of such chaos to stop immediately and let the government execute the voluntary exodus smoothly.

“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the attack on journalists and some government officials who were on line of duty,” remarked Mr Ikoyo Oroije, a resident of Kapenjiro Village which is located at Naiyobi Ward, here on Monday evening.

The visibly emotional villager described the incident as a cowardice act that is meant to deter the voluntary relocation of the residents.

Mr Oroije insisted that they were ready to be moved out of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), mindful of the ecological impact the decision carries with.

On August 15th, this year, a group of Maasai youths attacked journalists and government’s officials who were engaged in providing public education to Ngorongoro residents about the relocation process from the area.

The journalists were reported in the district getting an understanding of why the government is advising the residents relocate voluntarily from within the reserve to Msomera in the Handeni District of Tanga Region.

By 1959, NCA population 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 on conservation activities in the Mixed Wild Heritage site.

Earlier on, while delivering a statement on behalf of Ngorongoro residents, Ndwala Nepukori Ndeishie urged the government to fast-track their relocation to Msomera and other designated areas.

abAccording to Ndeishie, the decision to move out of the protected areas will spare them from attacks by wild animals and abject poverty as they aren’t allowed to engage in any income-generating activities, such as farming.

Their pleas come few days after 16 households relocated to their new surroundings in Handeni, Karatu and Monduli Districts.

Speaking while flagging off the 87 residents and 740 livestock, Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Mr Mohamed Mchengerwa insisted that those who have voluntarily registered to be relocated to Msomera Village in Handeni District, Tanga Region and other areas in the country should not be bothered or threatened by what he referred to as ‘Doubting Thomases’ who have cast their doubts on the ongoing exercise.

“No one is being coerced into moving out of NCA, all the people you see here have, through their own free will, agreed to be relocated elsewhere,” the minister said.

At least 3,010 residents and 15,321 livestock have shifted to Msomera Village since the exercise started mid last year.The government also intends to construct some other 5,000 houses in the areas of Msomera, Kilindi and Kitwai to ensure the continued voluntary registration and relocation of Ngorongoro residents.

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