Arusha — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete is expected to distribute more livestock to drought-hit families in Monduli and Ngorongoro Districts of Arusha Region on Thursday and Friday.
An official statement from the State House revealed that the President would be on the tour of the two districts where he will also address public rallies. The Head of State has plans to distribute a total of 40,000 cattle, goats and sheep that the Government promised to give 6,127 families, whose herds, were wiped out following harsh drought spells in 2009.
The President's Cattle replenishing initiative programme has cost 11.2bn/- and is to benefit mostly pastoralists in the Northern Zone. The President himself launched the cattle compensating programme in Longido District on February 19 this year, when he promised the pastoralists in the three badly affected districts of Arusha region that the state would help them recover the loss incurred when their livestock died during the prolonged drought which affected the region four years ago.
The Monduli District Commissioner, Mr Jowika Kasunga, said President Kikwete would distribute the inaugural 500 cattle to 125 families in the District at the rate of four animals per family. "In total we plan to distribute over 6,000 livestock to 1,500 families in Monduli," revealed Mr Kasunga. The Ngorongoro DC on the other hand was yet to divulge how many families were to be given the animals during the District's inaugural distribution of the 'Seed Stock.'
In Longido, last February the President launched the 'Seed Stock' programme by handing over 500 cattle and 30 goats to the first 16 households of Longido. In total more than 6,000 families in Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro will now benefit from the cattle donation initiative by the government.
A statement from the State House revealed here that government was not only helping the local communities to replenish their lost animals, but the breeds being given to the households are of higher quality to improve the well-being of the pastoral communities. The programme goes in sync with the state's initiative aimed at assisting the pastoralist to upgrade their current breeds into better cattle varieties.
Figures from the Prime Minister's Office (Policy and Parliament Coordination), indicate that the cattle seed stock programme will provide the local households with 25,055 cattle and 14, 260 goats. "Monduli will get 6,184 animals, Ngorongoro 7,463 and Longido, where drought struck most, is set to receive 11,408 livestock," reveals the statement.
Each household has at least ten family members which mean the President's programme will benefit nearly 62,000 people in the three districts. A total of 2,852 households in Longido, 1,719 families in Ngorongoro and 1,484 households in Monduli will be getting the presidential cattle donation at the rate of five animals per household.
Arusha region reportedly lost more than 700,000 livestock as a result of the drought which ravaged the Northern Zone from late 2009 to early 2010. Official figures indicate that the famine which affected this vicinity from mid-2009 to late March 2010 had destroyed a total of 316,437 cattle, 236,359 goats and 92,640 sheep in the seven districts of Arusha with Ngorongoro and Longido topping the bill.
The 2009-2010 drought spell killed even donkeys, animals that normally resist diseases, famine and can go without water for a lengthy period of time. A total of 14,636 donkeys were killed by the drought in that period of time and many of these were from Longido District.
Longido alone lost 166,582 cattle, 229,622 goats, 88,194 sheep and 14,600 donkeys and went into record as the District which suffered massive loss of livestock. A total of 141,000 cattle also died in Ngorongoro District within the period, while Arusha-Rural suffered the deaths of 8,781 cattle, 6,830 goats, 4,438 sheep and five donkeys.
Karatu lost 44 cattle, 29 donkeys, 25 goats and eight sheep, while the more urban Arusha Municipality tested the famine by losing 29 goats, 10 cattle, six sheep and two donkeys. The figures of animals that died in Monduli District when drought struck had not yet been compiled by the time we went to press though a single cattle keeper, the famous Laiboni of Makuyuni reportedly lost 700 cattle of his own. In total the five districts of Arusha region together lost 660,000 livestock, mostly cattle, excluding Monduli district.