Ngorongoro authority to set up a meat processing plant plant for local communities Monday, 10 January 2011 22:16 Some of the communities living in the Ngorongoro area. The conservation authority wants to build a meat and milk processing plant. Photo | file By Beldina Nyakeke The Citizen Correspondent Ngorongoro. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) plans a multi-billion socio-economic project to help the pastoralists community add value to their products. The NCAA Conservator Mr Bernard Murunya told journalists in Ngorongoro at the weekend that the Authority would use more than Sh4 billion to construct a meat and milk processing factory for the communities living in the conservation area. The construction of the factory, whose processing capacity is yet to be known, would be completed after three years. The exact project site could also not be immediately established but it was clear that it would not be constructed within the NCA. The NCAA is a government institution administering and regulating use and access of people and tourists to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). The aim of implementing the project was to improve livestock products so as to lift the living conditions of the people who live within the NCA, who are mostly from the Maasai tribal group, he said. The NCA became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It is the only conservation area in Tanzania providing protection status for wildlife whilst allowing human habitation. But land use is controlled to prevent negative effects on the wildlife population. Mr Murunya said the living condition of the Ngorongoro area people has not been good enough despite having abundant livestock due to failure to process their products. And the situation is worsened by the fact that they are not allowed to engage in agricultural activities however small, in order to preserve the conservation area. So we have to look on how we can help them to improve their incomes so that they can say goodbye to poverty. We expect the factory would also provide employment to the surrounding communities, he explained. He noted, however, that the people from the NCA will be given first priority in employment opportunities. Ngorongoro, whose main geographical feature is a large volcanic crater, is part of the Serengeti ecosystem, and to the north-west, it adjoins the Serengeti National Park and is contiguous with the southern Serengeti plains, these plains also extend to the north into unprotected Loliondo division and are kept open to wildlife through trans-human pastoralism practiced by Maasai.