ARUSHA, Tanzania, Feb.18 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has launched a giant water project aimed at reducing competition between livestock and wildlife over few water sources available in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA)-UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Freddy Manongi, NCAA chief conservator, said on Saturday that the project, which will involve the construction of two major dams outside the world's largest unbroken caldera, will be a big relief to the sanctuary, and people living in the area located 169 km from the Tanzania's northern safari capital of Arusha.
"This will give us (conservators) enough time to concentrate on the conservation of the sanctuary, compared to the current situation, whereby we're overwhelmed with the increasing number of livestock, which get into the Ngorongoro Crater as they look for water," the official said.
As a result of climate change, the official said: "Water has reduced in the crater. So, bringing in livestock adds unnecessary inconveniences to the wildlife living in the area."
NCAA has established 58 years ago as a multiple land use area, whereby wildlife coexist with Maasai pastoralists, who have been practicing traditional livestock grazing.
"But, the launch of the water project is one of the measures to make the thrilling tourist destination continue to thrive," Manongi said, stressing that the water project will be supplying water to communities living in this area and those outside.
Rashid Mfaume Taka, Ngorongoro District Commissioner also described the water project as a solution to human-wildlife conflicts over water resources.
"We came to learn, people living in NCAA are pastoralists have a large number of livestock, which are competing for water with wild animals," the official said.
Taka noted that the launch of the project follows directives made by Tanzania's Prime Minister Kasim Majaliwa he made in December last year, where he banned pastoralists from taking cattle into Ngorongoro Crater for grazing and water.
"So, water for livestock and people will be available outside the sanctuary, which has a wide range of wildlife."
Edward Maura is one of the pastoralists living in Ngorongoro, who said that the reason for herders to bring their livestock into the crater is for pastures, water, and salt.
"But, now we're happy for the launch of the water project outside the conservation area," said Maura, who is also the chairman of the Ngorongoro Pastoralists Council (NPC).
NCAA is one among the Eight Wonders of the World and one of the Seven African Natural Wonders. The sanctuary is the leading tourist destination in Tanzania, which receives more than 700,000 tourists' annually.