Arusha — NGORONGORO, which is the largest District in Arusha, may soon be split to form two councils or even better two autonomous districts.
It was among the resolutions reached by Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda after concluding his week-long tour of Ngorongoro and Karatu districts of Arusha, realizing how challenging the administration task was in the former.
The premier said the government will see the possibility of dividing the vast Ngorongoro District into either two administrative councils or two autonomous districts altogether.
Mr Pinda revealed the plan when addressing hundreds of residents of Digo-Digo and Mdito villages when he visited their locations in the Sale Division as well as Engaresero and Engaruka areas of Ngorongoro and neighbouring Monduli districts late last week.
"I have to admit, Ngorongoro is a very big district, making it is difficult for community services and administrative activities to be carried out effectively and timely," said Mr Pinda who recently went around all the three divisions of the district namely, Loliondo, Ngorongoro and Sale.
The prime minister was previously accosted by several residents of Sale Division, most being from the Batemi (Sonjo) communities, who demanded that it was high time the government divided Ngorongoro because essential community services were not being accessed by those living in the remotest parts of the district.
The Batemi people maintained that they were the victims of "Ngorongoro neglect," claiming that being a minority group among the bigger Maasai community, Sonjos are always "sidelined" and it was thus time for them to be given their own constituency. "We want our own 'Batemi' constituency complete with a Sonjo Member of Parliament," the local residents waved the placards before the Prime Minister entourage.
The area's Member of Parliament, Mr Saning'o Ole Telele, also agreed that indeed his constituency was "too big" for him to cover it all and has always advocated the formation of two constituencies.
"It is too early to think about a new constituency to represent just the Batemi," said Mr Pinda but pointed out that the government may instead split Ngorongoro into two councils for better administration and proper distribution of the national budget allocation. Mr Pinda told them a constituency can only be formed in an area with at least 150,000 people.
The Batemi claimed that their population was 30,000 but the Ngorongoro District Commissioner, Mr Elias Wawa-Lali pointed out that the 2012 Census placed their number at 15,000. The entire Ngorongoro District has a population of 175,000.