A press released from the State House in Dodoma has just produced the name of the new Commissioner of Conservation at Ngorongoro, the country’s one and only conservation area.
Richard Rwanyakato Kiiza is the new commissioner of conservation at the NCAA replacing Dr Freddy Manongi who has been heading the conservation area authority for the last ten years.
Previously, Richard Kiiza has been serving as the Senior Assistant Conservation Commissioner (SACC – Administration) at the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA).
Kiiza’s Presidential appointment to head the NCAA, according to the release, starts from October 12, 2023.
Freddy Manongi, a former lecturer at the Mweka Institute of Wildlife Management is reportedly retiring.
Dr Manongi had replaced Bernard Murunya at the helm of Ngorongoro Conservation Area in 2013.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area whose flagship product happens to be the legendary crater, a large volcanic caldera, is also a protected area and one of the seven World Heritage Sites found in Tanzania as endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Mapped within 8,292 square kilometers, the Ngorongoro Conservation directly borders the Serengeti National Park from which it was annexed back in July 1959.
In fact the NCA is part of the Serengeti ecosystem which includes, Maswa Game Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation, Loliondo Game Controlled Area and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve across the border in Kenya.
Ngorongoro is also home to both the Laetoli and Olduvai Gorge’s archaeological site where traces of early human ancestors can be found.
The first Geopark in Sub-Saharan Africa was also established within the Ngorongoro Conservation area and surrounding sites in 2018 becoming one of the only two Geoparks on the continent.
Ngorongoro conservation area is a multi-use and unique precinct because it is the only conservation area in Tanzania that protects wildlife while allowing human habitation at the same time.
However, of late there have been a series of controversies surrounding the eviction of native Maasai from the area.
The semi-nomadic Maasai community have been co-existing in harmony with the wildlife in the Ngorongoro Conservation for many decades.