‘Lord of the Ring’ settlements may descend into Ngorongoro

11Mar 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
‘Lord of the Ring’ settlements may descend into Ngorongoro

FANTASY inspired, middle-earth style of settlements, as featured in ‘Lord of the Ring’ trilogy films, may soon take shape in Tanzania’s one and only conservation area, should the newly proposed plans by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, take effect.


A delegation from the Reactive Monitoring Mission from UNESCO, which has just completed a working visit in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, has come up with suggestion that, special types of residential houses should be planned for the multiple land use, World Heritage Site, to replace the mushrooming modern properties, that are slowly but surely becoming eyesore in the nature and wildlife sanctuary.

Edmond Moukala, the Chief of African Unit in the World Heritage Centre, Culture Sector at UNESCO.

Edmond Moukala, the Chief of African Unit in the World Heritage Centre, Culture Sector at UNESCO said, the organization will come up with new program to train local residents of Ngorongoro to build special housing units that can blend with natural surrounding but at the same time feature all the modern basic human requirements including electric power and other amenities.

According to the UNESCO team, the rising population in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, calls for more human settlements, but the natural flora and fauna dotting the country’s most popular tourism site also scream for protection and therefore there is the need to balance the two without affecting either sides.

 “We are intending to establish the building conditions for Ngorongoro, the houses should be transformed from traditional houses, to ‘traditional standard houses,” said Moukala.

Those who have watched the ‘Lord of the Ring,’ film series, will be familiar with the middle-earth hobbit dwellings that are so modern yet at the same time very tradition and blend well with the nature.

UNESCO is concerned that the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is being overwhelmed with uprising modern buildings that do not comply with the conservation landscape of the world heritage site, therefore something must be done to rescue the situation.

The Manager in-charge of Research Development and Monitoring, at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Julius Kibebe, said there is a long list of ‘things-to-do,’ stipulated in the UNESCO’s latest requirements and the management is already working on them.

 “The team will also compile special report from their recent study in Ngorongoro and once the NCAA gets the report the management will further execute the updated world heritage site regulations,” he added.

Measuring 8300 square kilometres,  the conservation area is multi-use and unique being the only conservation area that protects wildlife while also allowing human habitation, precisely for pastoral Maasai community.

But this multiple land usage, according to experts, is also bringing problems, with observers fearing environmental destruction caused by increased human population, currently estimated to be around 100,000 and overwhelming number of livestock where Cattle, Goats and Sheep are heading towards 150,000 figure in total.

As it happens, when the 60-year-old, Ngorongoro Conservation Area was established in 1959, after being annexed from Serengeti, the precinct had only 12,000 Maasai pastoralists, but now the number has shot up to over 98,000 and counting.