‘We’ll not apply force to relocate Maasai families’

Chief Government Spokesperson Mobhare Matinyi addresses journalists in Dar es Salaam on November 4, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Clarification. The previous version of this story did not mention the fact that the Sh10 million and transport are given on top of the compensation, and the 5-acre land is offered to every household, not just those interested in farming. We have corrected the story to reflect that.

Dar es Salaam. The government has said that it will not resort to the use of force to relocate Ngorongoro pastoralists to Msomera Village in Handeni District.

Instead, it said, it will adhere to the principles of human rights and the rule of law by educating them about the reasons for the move.

At least 500 families have confirmed their decision to move to the new village during the second phase of relocation.

500 families have presently registered for voluntary relocation, and 406 families are awaiting the completion of the process to move to the new village.

Chief Government Spokesperson Mobhare Matinyi said this yesterday when updating the media on the second phase of the Ngorongoro relocation.

He said the second phase started in July this year all through March, with the aim of building 5,000 houses in the entire area, including Sauni, Kitawi, and Msomera.

“During the first phase, we built at least 503 houses, and in this second phase, we expect to build at least 5,000 houses, of which 2,500 will be built in Msomero, 1000 in Sauni, Kilindi District, and 1,500 in Kitawi, Simanjiro,” he said.

He said the government is building a three-bedroom house on a two-and-a-half-acre title deed and a five-acre title deed for farming and livestock keeping.

He noted that before moving the residents, the government evaluates their properties for compensation.

They are also given Sh10 million and provided with transport for all their properties to the new village.

According to Mr Mantinyi, at least 10 ministries are involved in the relocation process, including the Ministry of Water, Energy, Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, among others.

“While every family is given the opportunity to choose where they will move, citizens moving to Msomera are connected to electricity, water wells are drilled for the residents, and a modern market for livestock and centres for selling milk are set up to promote economic activities,” he said.

He stressed that families that have moved to Msomera have started economic activities, with the government building a 70-kilometre tarmac road.

He said there were at least 115,000 households, of which 27,000 households with 120 people have left and gone to other places of their own free will, noting that there were still many people who have not left despite the poor conditions they live in.