Villagers relocating to stem dust souring KIA operations

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 09:45 AM May 16 2024
Mobhare Matinyi, the chief government spokesman
Photo: Courtesy of Maelezo
Mobhare Matinyi, the chief government spokesman

DUST caused by plane engines during landing and take-off at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) brought about the need for relocating inhabitants of eight villages in nearby areas straddling Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions.

Mobhare Matinyi, the chief government spokesman, made this observation when issuing a government statement regarding the land dispute between villagers and the KIA management.

Large amounts of dust from whirlwinds affecting landing and take-off of the plane's flights were impairing plane engines, compelling some airlines to land in alternative airports in neighboring countries.

Human activities involving the destruction of natural vegetation by cutting trees for charcoal and pasture contributed to the situation, while pressure on the land impeded government efforts to implement existing airport development plans, he said.

Residents of Hai and Arumeru districts entered the area and set up shelters and initiated economic activities from 2007 to 2010, while the area KIA occupies was set out in 1969, part of the Sanya Lelatema Game Reserve, stretching over 800 square kilometres.

"The government set aside 110 square kilometres from the 800 specifically for KIA construction, with the area revalued in 1989 and issued with map number E 5255/18, registered and given the number 231264,” he said.

Kaloleni, Samaria, Malula and Majengo Central border the airport in Arumeru District, Arusha Region while Sanya Station, Tindigani, Chemka and Mtakuja border the airport in Hai District, he said.

The dust also occasioned the destruction of biodiversity, as it was tied up with livestock grazing in particular, he said, highlighting that Arumeru District received a 4.042bn/- for relocation and Hai obtained 7.27bn/- to compensate for buildings, tree crops, shifting graves and other occasional.

By Tuesday this week 46 people had not received their compensation cash, he said, citing the lack of bank accounts, different bank account names, plus contentions on lists of eligible to receive the compensation leading to some resident file cases in court..