Tanzania: NCAA Retracts Residents Eviction Order

THE Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) has reversed its decision to evict 45 residents from the World Heritage Site.

NCAA Conservation Commissioner, Dr Freddy Manongi, in his letter dated April 20th, 2021, cited the reason behind the reversal as a misunderstanding that had emerged among the communities living in the world's largest unbroken caldera.

On Monday, last week, the Authority issued a 30-day eviction notice to 45 people living in the conserved area.

The move came barely a week after President Samia Suluhu Hassan had directed relevant authorities to deter more people from residing in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The 45 people who were served with the notice are those who were transferred from the area to Jema and Oldonyosambu and we're fully compensated by the government.

They, however, returned to the reserved area and resettled there. Dr Manongi noted that their stay will remain until further instructions are issued. This comes after a section of the returnees took it to the media complaining over the decision.

In an earlier letter to Ngorongoro Ward Executive Officer, NCAA issued a 30-day ultimatum for the residents to leave.

The letter, signed by Dr Christopher Timbuka on behalf of Dr Manongi, ordered whoever among them who had constructed a house in the conserved area to demolish at their own costs.

The people had previously been transferred to new areas, supported by the NCAA that constructed all basic infrastructure that a human being needs such as a dispensary, a primary school, Police Post as well as houses for servants with clean and safe water.

Dr Manongi took the action in line with the authority bestowed on him in accordance with the Section 23 (2) (a) read together with Section 35 of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Act (CAP 284 of 1975) and its amendments, along with directives of the Ngorongoro District Defence and Security Committee.

"I issue a 30-day notice to depart from within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area...Also, to anyone who constructed a house within the conserved area to demolish it at their own costs," reads part of the letter that has been copied to the Ngorongoro District Commissioner, the District Council Executive Director and Division's officer.

The NCAA said in the letter that legal action will be taken against any citizen who would violate the order whose notice started to count on the date of the letter.

The Ngorongoro Defence and Security Committee meeting held on March 4th, this year resolved and directed the NCAA to issue such a notice to the 45 people.

April 6th, this year, after swearing-in senior government officials, President Samia addressed with concern the challenge facing Ngorongoro Conservation Area, as population of people sours and becomes a threat to the wildlife in the world's greatest unbroken caldera.

President Samia called upon respective authorities - such as The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and NCAA to be serious on the matter. She warned that Ngorongoro was on the brink of vanishing as a conserved area.

She said that agreement was that Ngorongoro is a special area that would see people and wildlife live together and by that time there were only 9,000 people.

With between 90,000 and 100,000 people now, Mama Samia said it is definite that animals will be overwhelmed and hence Ngorongoro will no longer retain its status as a world heritage site.

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