Men abandoning families in Ngorongoro as hunger bites
BY LUSEKELO PHILEMON
19th November 2012
Women living within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) have decried the increasing wave of men abandoning their families in the area and head to unknown destinations searching for alternative lives as hunger descends into the world’s heritage site. Speaking before the visiting parliamentary committee in-charge of Land, Natural Resources and Environment, NCAA-based women complained about the emptiness in their households as men and youth flee the area.
Nabulu Kolombo is one of the women in Nainokanoka Ward (one of NCAA wards), who revealed that all energetic men have left the Ngorongoro Division, setting out to unknown lands in search of alternative lives.
“Our youth are currently also following suit, crossing the border to Kenya, where they would rather work as night guards or watchmen in Nairobi,” said Mama Nabulu Kolombo.
District Chairperson of the Union of Women in Tanzania (UWT), Ruth Laltaika also pointed out that when it rains, women in other parts of the country plant seeds in their farms and harvest during drought season while in Ngorongoro agriculture is a forbidden activity.
According to Mama Laltaika, the district was still suffering the drought effects of 2009 when hundreds of thousands of livestock were decimated by famine which killed over 700,000 cattle, goats and sheep in Arusha Region.
Ngorongoro is resided by mostly the Maasai people who rely on cattle for their survival and the division which is mapped within the NCAA happens to be a conserved area under strict watch of the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
“People here are given relief food of just nine kilograms per family of which they are expected to use for six months; imagine nine kilos for six-months and they are not allowed to farm here,” said the Nainokanoka Ward Counsellor, Edward Maula.
He admitted that men and youth are leaving Ngorongoro all together and that the division is only left with women, children and old men.
“Right now the people here have given up hope and are ready to do anything; the government should take note on that,” Mama Maula said.
For his part, Kakesio Village Executive, Saiboko Kimirei said a number of children and old people have died in the area due to hunger related ailments; “It was not ordinary diseases as reports claimed but hunger and just hunger.”
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee, James Lembeli said the team will take concerns and table them before the next sessions of the National Assembly in Dodoma.
“Our delegations comprises of legislators from all political parties so be rest assured that your grievances will be heard in the right corridors,” he said.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN