Tanzania: More discussions on the controversial Ngorongoro road

Posted on | juni 1, 2012 | 4 Comments

From the left is Board Member Patrick Ngwediang, second left is Onesmo Olengurumwa (Vice Chairman), taking a sip of water is Saning’o Ole Telele, board member and legislator standing is Good Luck Olemedeye - Deputy Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development

Conflicts of interest between domestic and tourism demands have once resurfaced in the construction of tarmac road linking Arusha and Mara regions.

This time it was residents of Ngorongoro who asked the government to construct the said road without hesitation, despite external pressures on account that the construction of this road will disturb wild animals and the ecology of this area.

Shout-africa.com had the opportunity of meeting members of the Jukwaa la Wanataluma na Sauti ya Jamii Wilayani Ngorongoro, which is a professional forum comprising people born and/or living in Ngorongoro, on Sunday this week at the Ubungo Plaza in Dar es Salaam.

Voicing the call of Ngorongoro people was Onesmo Olengurumwa, who was accompanied by their legislator Kaika Saning’o Ole Telele, board member Patrick Ngwediagi, Coordinator Valentine Ngorisa and Mesha Pius Assistant Secretary.

“The forum has been following with a keen interest the ongoing debate at different fora and media outlets surrounding the construction of a tarmac road,” said Olengurumwa.

He argued that his organization has observed that for many, years now, the Tanzanian government has had good intentions of constructing a tarmac road from Mtowambu-Loliondo/Mugumu Makutano which would not only benefit the residents of Ngorongoro, Monduli and Serengeti districts but the whole of Tanzania and even the East African region.

The construction of this road has been in the government’s pipeline since the early 1980s. In recent years the government has just renewed its intentions. “These opponents don’t even know our needs or they have just chosen to ignore the truth,” he added. He added that opponents of this plan, who include international conservationists, have been using different tactics to attract support from the international community, including incorrectly renaming the road the “Serengeti Super Highway”.

This call was echoed by the MP for Ngorongoro Ole Telele, who was of the opinion that a neighbouring country is behind this campaign,
because they know that once the road is fully constructed the flow of tourists will increase in Northern Tanzania.

The most recent strong pronouncement on the position of the Tanzanian government was made on 30th March 2012 by President Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, during an award-giving ceremony to best journalists, in Dar es Salaam.

In his speech, President Kikwete urged Tanzanians in general and journalists in particular, to stop supporting the opponents of what he termed as noble decision, which is after all for the betterment of their country.

The argument of Ngorongoro is that the cost of essential commodities transported to the area would be reduced significantly. Those living in the vicinity also say the road will interlink their regions more appropriately.

AUTHOR: Elias Mhegera
URL: http://mhegeraelias.blogspot.com
E-MAIL: mhegeraelias [at] yahoo.com


4 Responses to “Tanzania: More discussions on the controversial Ngorongoro road”

  1. Victor leonard
    juni 1st, 2012 @ 11:29

    On my side i would like to say that ‘vox populi vox dei’ so it is better for the govnrnment to think about its citizens and not others who want to interfere this programe in order to fulfil their desire.

  2. Isack Bogama
    juni 2nd, 2012 @ 11:28

    Tanzania Government decided construct the tarmac road from mto wambu -loiliondo/mugumu this road is intended to connect isolated ngorongoro communities and allow for the easy movement of goods. once the villagers would be able to transport their agricultural producing and livestock to major market centres in Arusha,Dar-es salaam, Musoma and Mwanza.Fortunately, there is no option of an alternate route (road) around the communities that would ultimately serve the same purpose, connect even more people. There is no disruption will happen for the wildlife.

  3. Isack Bogama
    juni 2nd, 2012 @ 14:05

    On my view the Tanzania government Should think their ngorongoro communities who isolated since independence and not to listen the people who their don’t know how these communities suffering from lack of infrastructure. Their life of these societies depending on Livestock and Agriculture there is no means of infrastructure to connect even more people to reach the market of their product.

  4. rafael ole moono
    juni 3rd, 2012 @ 13:46

    I think there is genuine reason and need for the road by every community wherever they are. So it is the same with the Ngorongoro residents as mentioned by such educated elite of the place. But why and what is behind such energetic need to convince the whole lot of concerned parties on the serengeti road in particular? Why isnt the same energy used for the road to rukwa and other isolate regions in the country?? Perhaps to me these educated elite have given some reason why it is wrong to campaign against the road. which are namely the dire need of the local people to alleviate their hardships and second realization that the neighboring country is conspiring to thwart development of the area for their illegal benefit from the tourism in the serengeti and mount kilimanjaro. Perhaps I see from my perspective the business potential of the this conservation heritage area to the the locals and the neighboring country is confirmed. we haven’t exhausted the potential benefit there is or there could be of the area as it is now with the so called least infrastructural development. I notice here a twisted truth or unmentioned side of why the such a plight of hardships for people in such a world high potential heritage area. If the world and so the neighbors see the potential without the road perhaps it is time we discuss the exploitation of the potential by our own systems and benefit from that. otherwise our leaders and educated elites need to be aware that conservation has always more and more value that cannot be equated by the tarmack road or any other infrustructural development. Tarmack road as we can read from records is a conservation hazard through mikumi. it will be the same for serengeti and probably lose all value over the gradual degradation as result of the road. Please you elites take the government system to task that it should share the wealth of the ecosystem as I believe it is why you suffer while in the world potential riches which only the government benefits from and not you. i think it is even possible from the same income now be it by taxing the neighboring business who are eating without sharing with you or from our own government that share little to the conservators to alleviate the travel hardships of the people and save the land from the road. Any construction degrades over the time but any conservation of the present natural wealth always ads in value. Struggle to conserve for you an the next generation otherwise what you say sounds like you have put that aside and join with destruction of nature by constructing the tarmac road which sounds like selling a cow to by a walking stick.

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