Land… Maasai are victims of the Colonial history. It is now that we the Maasai pastoralists of Kenya in East Africa are feeling the impact and the effects. We are pushed to the wall and it is time to speak. It all started when the British Colonial government took our best grazing land for the White Settlers and forceful pushed us out of our heritage, the land of our ancestors. From there on we lost our pride, our heritage, our culture, our traditions and our social fabric started falling apart. The successful African government followed the same route and now there is a deliberate systematic way to face the Maasai out. They want us to be assimilated to new cultures. Maasailand nowadays is privatized, no more communal ownership. It is a big crisis ! And we are losing our lands to outsiders and multinational corporations. It is no longer pastoral lands, but for agro-business, poultry, green houses for flowers export to Europe and America. The environment, the soil, are completely spoiled by chemicals and toxies from these big monsters !! Our cows die when they eat grass and drink water. The corporations have even drilled boreholes and made our traditional shallow wells to dry up. The water table (groundwater) is getting very low.
Pastoralism… Pastoralism is our way of life. We love it and we know it best. It supports environment from degradation. Maasai have a proper system of land use. Now this fragile environment is under threat from new land use system that completely degrade the environment. More and more Maasai are becoming urbanized. They go to big towns to look for jobs. Many of them are now landless and are squatters on their own land.
Tourism… The best National Parks in East Africa are in Maasai land (Maasai Mara; Amboseli; Serengeti; Nairobi; Tsavo; Samburu, etc.) These National Parks are curved out of the best Maasai lands. A land the Maasai used to graze their animals during the dry seasons. Now they cannot graze in these lands. Even during hard times of droughts. The revenue sharing from these parks is very minimal for the Maasai pastoralists who for centuries have been custodians of these wild animals.
Droughts and climate change… Droughts are now more frequent than ever in the ASAL (Arid and Semi Arid Lands) areas of Kenya. Maasai are losing their animals due to droughts and are now relying on Food Aid. These changes of the climate are man made, not natural. The developped Economies must stop killing us !!! We should Stop talking and endless conferences. We need Action now.