12 Sept 2009


I am really sceptical about 10/10 campaign, when are environmentalists going to realise that stealing from indigenous people drives forest destruction, wrecks land and is a source of climate change?

Perhaps I should launch a no to corporate shoplifting campaign...not a cm2 more of land stolen from the people by the big firms? I think this would have a better effect than more lifestyle stuff, where I dim my lights and eat more salad and EDF produces slick advertising for green day and produces less than 10% of their energy from renewables.

....the Maasai story is depressing as I type their land is being stolen. Details here from Survival International.

The Maasai are not forest people but its the same story, you say development and growth but the reality is land stolen, human rights abused and people put into poverty....this is the process that is killing our planet.

The Tanzanian government has leased a large slice of the Loliondo Game Reserve to an Arab Sheikh, Brigadier Mohammed Adulrahim Al-Ally of United Arab Emirates for hunting purposes through the Ortello Business Corporation (OBC).

'According to the villagers, large groups of Arab royals and high-flying businessmen spend weeks in Loliondo each year, hunting antelopes, lions, leopards, and other wild animals. '

Local people are being kicked out so that local wildlife can be wasted for pleasure. Sick!

The Maasai are by no means vegetarian to put it mildly but they have managed to conserve wildlife but with the Maasai gone the local fauna is going to be slaughtered pretty quickly.

The killing of wildlife for sport is in itself an offense to the Maasai worldview. Maasai traditionally believe that the present generations hold all natural resources, including the land, in trust for future generations. The killing of wildlife for pleasure or commercial purposes is not permitted. Maasai believe that trophy hunting leads to greed, over-exploitation of wildlife resources, and often irreversible damage to delicate ecosystems. Today's East Africa owes much of its wildlife prosperity to traditional Maasai conservation practices. This invaluable conservation role has gone largely unappreciated—and worse, in the name of modernity, it continues to be undermined and targeted for elimination.

The Maasai tradition must survive despite foreign influences such as those of OBC. As Lemido Saunae, a Tarangire resident says, "You know, at the end of the day, they will eliminate these animals and then go back to their wealthy homelands and leave us more impoverished than when we had our animals."

Women have been raped and the whole community terrorized....when people get in the way of the needs of the rich, they are dehumanised and killed...when will we speak out?

Intercontinental cry report:

An unknown number of women were raped and severely beaten during the eviction. One woman told Survival, “two armed men chased me and forced me to lie down, at the same time another six men followed them and all raped me.”

“The recent atrocities show that the situation is now critical,” Survival goes on to say. “Maasai women recently demonstrating in Loliondo against the violent evictions were told they had no right to protest. Anonymous threats have also been made to local community leaders.”

Further, “the burning of villages has now stopped. But any Maasai herding cattle within the OBC hunting area are being arrested. Five people have already been tried without access to legal defence or bail, and have been imprisoned for six months. A further ten Maasai are due to appear in court on 24 August.”

International Demands
Since the July 4 eviction, several NGO’s have stepped forward in support of the Maasai, demanding a full, independent inquiry into the human rights violations.

They are also calling for the resignation of the Minister responsible for Natural Resources, for some recent, intolerable claim that the Massai were burning their own villages.'

Just had this from http://www.pambazuka.org



Following the evictions and burning of the houses of Maasai communities in Loliondo, these You-Tube films, part I ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqP2MRuJ4Ac/ ) and part II ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-FP2gRvziw/ ) , provide documentary evidence of the abuses allegedly perpetrated by the Government of Tanzania and Ortello Business Company.

So what can we do?

The Maasai are demananding:

Compensation which “can be paid by the government and OBC”;
“For the process of degazetting Game Controlled Areas on village land “to be accelerated so the people of Loliondo can use their land without obstruction;”
That “all the leaders… involved in this injustice and brutality be pursued and administrative and legal steps taken of prosecuting them in court;” and
That “OBC’s hunting license be withdrawn and the company ordered to leave Loliondo Game Controlled Area.”

What You Can Do
If you would like to speak out in support of the Masaai and the Hadzabe (who’s situation has received next to no attention), send an email to:

President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, United Republic of Tanzania – State House Luthuli Road, Box 9120, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 00 255 22 2 116 898 / 22 2 116 899 00 255 22 2 113 425 info@ikulu.go.tz
Private Secretary to Mizengo Pinda, Prime Minister of Tanzania, Email: pm@pmo.go.tz; privatesec@pmo.go.tz
Mr. Yacoub El Hillo, UNHCR Representative to Tanzania, elhillo@unhcr.org
Tanzanian Embassy in your country:

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