Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Tanzanian Government Insists on Grabbing Maasai Land in Loliondo

The Tanzanian government, through the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, is moving forward with a plan of taking 1,500 square kilometres which are essential dry season grazing land for the Maasai of Loliondo in Ngorongoro District.

The main economic activity and source of livelihood of the people of Loliondo is pastoralism – moving livestock between seasonal grazing areas - that compared to other land uses is relatively compatible with wildlife – and this is a major reason that their land is so sought after by the tourism industry and the Government.

In 1959 all people were evicted from the vast Serengeti by the British Government for the purpose of establishing the National Park. Among them the Maasai that were moved to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and also to Loliondo. Contrary to promises the Tanzanian government has continued with a greedy eye on lands that it wants for the exclusive use of hunting and photographic tourism. Currently this greed is focused on a corridor of land in Loliondo Division of Ngorongoro District.