Arusha — LOLIONDO residents in Ngorongoro District have expressed their gratitude to President Jakaya Kikwete for the government's gesture to offer over 640m/- to sustain their cattle seed stock.
Speaking through their District Commissioner, Mr Elias Wawa Lali, the residents of Wasso, Loliondo and Sale sections of Ngorongoro thanked the president for the initial supply of 500 cattle and said they felt more privileged than others. "Other districts will be getting 500m/- a month from the president to help replenish their drought smitten cattle stocks but effective from this week Ngorongoro stands to get 640m/- as special consideration from the president," said Mr Wawa Lali.
President Kikwete was in Loliondo over the weekend where he distributed cattle to the families affected by drought and took time to address the residents of Wasso, Sale and Loliondo, telling them the road project connecting them to Arusha and Musoma via Mto-wa-Mbu and Mugumu was also underway.
"We are going to construct the road in from both ends, the Mugumo side has just started while work on the Mto-wa-Mbu section is set to begin within this fiscal year," said the president who maintained that the section that runs through the Serengeti National Park will not be tarmacked for environmental reasons.
The president took the time to remind residents of Loliondo and Wasso that he has already fulfilled his promise to link them with the National Grid and at the moment the area was enjoying uninterrupted electricity supply. "This is electricity from the national grid and not solar power as some people have been claiming,' said Mr Kikwete.
The Ngorongoro DC later told this paper by phone said that the residents were thankful to Mr Kikwete for the three projects, road construction, electricity and replacement of lost cattle herds but most importantly for the grants to sustain livestock seeds. The cattle replenishing initiative programme for the pastoral communities in the three districts of Arusha Region has cost 11.2bn/- and is to benefit residents of Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro districts.
The president himself launched the cattle compensating programme in Longido on February 19, this year, when he promised the pastoralists in the three badly affected districts that the state will help them recover the loss incurred when their livestock died during the prolonged drought which affected the region four years ago.
Last week he was in Monduli where, according to the District Commissioner, Mr Jowika Kasunga, the president distributed 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, saying the project will be bankrolled by a monthly injection of 500m/- from the president's office.
Last February the president launched the 'seed stock' programme by handing over 500 cattle and 30 goats to the first 16 households of Longido District. In total more than 6,000 families in Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro are to benefit from the cattle grants.
Speaking here last week, Mr Kikwete said that the government is 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 tandem with the state's initiative aimed at assisting pastoralists 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 stands to receive 11,408 livestock," reveals the statement.
Each of the 6,127 households has at least ten family members which mean that the president's programme will benefit nearly 62,000 people in the three districts.