Dar es Salaam. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Wednesday received recommendations from residents of Loliondo, Ngorongoro and Sale on the best ways to ensure the conservation of the respective areas, the premier’s office said Thursday.
Loliondo, Ngorongoro and Sale are all towns of Arusha region, in northern Tanzania.
Residents submitted their recommendations during a meeting attended by Ngorongoro MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM) Emmanuel Shangai; Maasai leaders better known locally as Laigwanans; councillors; village chairpersons; as well youth and women representatives.
Mr Majaliwa received the recommendations during a meeting that took place at his office in the capital Dodoma, the statement said.
It was not immediately clear what recommendations exactly did the residents submit to the Prime Minister because Mr Majaliwa’s office’s statement was silent about them.
According to the statement, Mr Majaliwa told the residents to continue to have faith in the government, telling them that contrary to what some people say it does not have an ill will against its own citizens. He told them: “Do not listen to the words of people on the sidelines.”
The government has come under fire recently as activists are accusing it of forcefully evicting indigenous people from Ngorongoro, a practice described as “a grave human rights violation.”
But authorities insist that the exercise is taking place on a voluntary basis and that only people who offer to relocate of their own volition will be facilitated to do so.
The government says the exercise is a necessary one if the UNESCO-inscribed world heritage site, which it says faces the threat of extinction due to human activities, is to be protected.
Tanzania has designated two areas – Kitwai in Simanjiro, Arusha region and Msomera in Handeni, Tanga region – where people who will agree to willingly move out of Ngorongoro will be resettled.
Speaking on the construction exercise in the Msomera area, Mr Majaliwa said on Wednesday that the exercise is going well, saying that the government is planning to construct 500 more houses in the area.
This is in addition to the construction of 103 houses that is currently ongoing, the premier’s office said in a statement on Thursday.