August 19, 2008

Maasai Settlements Moved From Tanzanian Wildlife Conservancy

Text of report by state-owned TBC (Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation) radio on 19 August

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority has moved 175 settlements of Maasai herders who had encroached on the conservancy [in northern Tanzania], in a bid to conserve the environment and protect wildlife.

Speaking to reporters who had visited the conservancy, the acting director of the authority, Mr Bernard Murunya, said the decision was reached after the authority bought 10,000 acres at the Oldonyo Sambu area, and started community service activities like [construction of] schools and health centres.

However, Mr Murunya said indigenous Maasai herders continue to live in the conservancy under watch, without damaging natural resources there. He said for now there are about 25 remaining herders' settlements, especially Maasai, in the conservancy.

Meanwhile, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority has launched a special programme of transporting patriotic citizens by bus from Arusha town [about 180 kilometres west of conservancy] to the conservancy for tours, in a bid to promote local tourism.

Besides other features, the conservancy has a crater floor, is home to wildlife, humans, domesticated animals and an archaeological site.