Voluntary relocation gains momentum in Ngorongoro

What you need to know:

  • More voluntary relocation requests are under review, whereby successful applicants will be relocated to Msomera Village

Dar es Salaam. A total of 15 households, comprising 107 people and 359 livestock belonging to the Mang'ati ethnic group, have voluntarily agreed to relocate to Msomera Village in Handeni District, Tanga Region, according to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA).

Located in northern Tanzania, the NCAA boasts the expansive Ngorongoro Crater and is renowned for its diverse wildlife, including the iconic Big Five: elephants, leopards, lions, buffaloes, and rhinos.

The NCAA Commissioner, Mr Richard Kiiza, commended the voluntary relocation exercise executed on Thursday, February 8, 2024. He said the authority would ensure those who opt to move voluntarily are facilitated to relocate as soon as possible.

"The households expressed their desire for voluntary relocation from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. As part of our responsibility to ensure their smooth transition, the process was efficiently concluded this week," said Mr Kiiza.

"On behalf of the government, we congratulate all citizens who have responded to the call for voluntary relocation from the area,” he added.

He assured relocated citizens of comprehensive support, saying that the government has provided essential services in Msomera Village aimed at enhancing productivity and community welfare.

Mr Kiiza noted that the increasing number of voluntary relocation requests received by the authority signifies a broader trend of citizens opting to move away from the reserve.

A citizen who preferred anonymity hailed the government’s handling of the relocation exercise, saying, “We are pleased with the way the relocation exercise is being implemented. Human and livestock rights are emphasised beyond basic dignity.”

According to the NCAA, more voluntary relocation requests are under review, whereby successful applicants will be relocated to Msomera Village, where social amenities such as roads, water, electricity, healthcare services, and educational facilities await.

The government's commitment to supporting the transition extends to infrastructure development in Msomera, including livestock facilities, grazing areas, water dams, and modern trading centres.

During a previous press briefing, the Chief Government Spokesperson, Mr Mobhare Matinyi, highlighted the comprehensive support provided to voluntary shifters, including modern housing and agricultural plots, along with compensation for properties left behind in Ngorongoro.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan's directive to provide additional economic empowerment of Sh10 million shows the government's commitment to facilitating a smooth transition for relocated citizens.