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The Failure of the Manongi Regime of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.

And the Maasai as Natural Conservationists

By Tubulu Lerug Sokoine Nebasi (Diwani Nje ya Halmashauri/Councillor outside the District Council). (Tubulu is the first guest blogger here at View from the Termite Mound, but any serious voice for Ngorongoro land rights – not least including Loliondo, if anyone would be brave enough - is more than welcome. Susanna)


Ngorongoro, particularly the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, is legally known to be a Multiple Land Use Area and it was by early 1959 when the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority Act (formerly Ordinance) No.14 of 1959 was initiated and defined the three main functions of the Area: Conservation, Tourism and Development of Indigenous People. The Maasai people are known to be the owners of the land and Ngorongoro is the Land of Maasai people, followed by the agreement of the Maasai to vacate the Western Serengeti on 13th, 14th March and 20th April 1958 by the Laigwanak (elders) of Ngorongoro and Loliondo division of the Maasai District (Munge Ole Keyamba, Ole Pose, Olong'oyu and others agreed on behalf of all Maasai).

Today Ngorongoro is not better than before, the life of the indigenous people is not better, employment of Maasai people to the NCAA is not better, Multiple Land Use is not better, Ngorongoro Pastoralist Council, NPC, is not better, only militarism thrives.

Since the beginning of the Manongi (the NCAA chief conservator) Regime in the Ngorongoro Conversation Area, there has been a year to year unfair, unlawful, unequal treatment of the indigenous people in the area, It's a Regime of an extreme violation of the human rights of the indigenous people, it's a Regime of insecurity of the indigenous people on their land, the Regime of non-involvement of Maasai people in any matter related to Tourism, and Conservation with extreme destruction of the human activities in the area (the development of the indigenous people is worse than ever) as the keys of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Act No.14 of 1959.

Some proposed and/or current changes done by the Regime in the Area, without community-involvement, and which are unfair: 

1. Proposed introduction of beacons (No-go zones) 

2. Multiple Land Use Model (MLUM) review proposal 

3. Shifting of the Ngorongoro Pastoralist Council Budget to Ngorongoro District Council NDC. 

4. General Management Plan GMP 

4. Law Reforms 

5. Shifting of the NCAA Offices to Karatu District Council by May 1, 2021. 

Shifting of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) offices to Karatu:

Why Karatu District Council? A number of questions come to my mind! 

What is the secret behind this move? Why not Ngorongoro District Council when the area is big enough for the NCAA to re-locate and build the new offices? Is this a big burden to the Tanzania Government? Would it interfere with the link between the NCAA, the indigenous people and tourism if the services were to be in Ngorongoro DC? Would this prove that the indigenous people are the natural conservationists, and to be called NCAA without offices! 

The move is beyond the NCAA act of 1959, and this is violation of the law that founded the NCAA. 

Zoning:

Manongi ‘s zoning proposal is unsuitable and non-conducive to the indigenous activities. Zoning which will destroy conservation, zoning which will direct people to poor land, zoning which is not suitable for human economic activities, a zoning which directly kills human activities, a zoning which destroys tourism in the area. Briefly, it’s unequal and poor division of the land.

 
The MLUM review report.

The Maasai People:

We are to be called "natural conservationists" and we were present in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area before Manongi. The Maasai people have natural zoning starting with settlement and continuing with grazing zoning. It’s not everywhere that the Maasai can locate their bomas so that they do not block the corridors of wildlife and have space for cattle to pass. They also leave some areas for the grasses to grow before they use them, and during that time wild animal are not protected in these areas. Where the Maasai are present, also wild animal will be there automatically. 

Briefly, the eviction of the indigenous people is contrary to human rights. 

 

 

Maasai man feeding a zebra foal. Photographer: unknown

 

 
Maasai man helping a buffalo that's stuck in the mud. Photographer: unknown


 The restrictions of cattle from entering the Crater for salt since 2017:

The presence of new invasive species (plants) is the results of the restriction, and this proves that the restriction was not practical, and it was to destroy human economic activities, and particularly it was violation of the Tanzanian land rights.

 

 
Maasai settlement in the Crater, Elerai, in 1964. They Maasai were violently evicted in 1975, and denied access to water and saltlicks in 2017.


That is to say, Manongi’s regime is a failure of the implementation of the NCAA laws and the Tanzania conservation policies. 

 
Ngorongoro Chief Conservator Freddy Manongi

 

The eviction of Maasai people in Ngorongoro is NOT the way to rescue the land but to let them remain is the better way to rescue the area and its uniqueness, and the NPC budget must be under NPC control as the law says, to improve social-economic relationship between NCAA and the community, which is the failure of the regime, to provide all the rights to the indigenous people according to the NCAA laws (employment and development). 

The Indigenous People need a breath! 

Stop eviction of Maasai in Ngorongoro! 

The NCAA needs a new regime! 

Ngorongoro is a Multiple Land Use Area! 

Ngorongoro is the land for Maasai! 

Tubulu Nebasi

View from the Termite Mound: Guest blogger Tubulu Nebasi: The Failure of the Manongi Regime of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and the Maasai as Natural Conservationists (termitemoundview.blogspot.com)