Maasai Eviction Journal

April 27, 2023

There are many lies from the Tanzanian ambassador to Germany in this video.

•Ngorongoro is the size of the country of Rwanda

•The population density in Ngorongoro is 10 people / km2, Maasai live there sustainably except for restrictions on cattle watering places and cultivation imposed by the government.

•Their settlements (including social services) occupy only 5% of the land in Ngorongoro.

•No relocation place was designated for the Maasai people who were violently forced off their land in Loliondo. They had no place to go.

•Msomera is a registered village. The people that lived there have legal rights to their land.

•Illiteracy or poverty is not a reason to move people from their land if they don't want to go.

•Human-wildlife conflict incidents are no worse than harm done by vehicles in other parts of the country.

•There is no sign of environmental degradation in Ngorongoro except in the crator where the Maasai do not live and do not graze their cattle there.


•No mention of the brutal and illegal eviction and demarcation in Loliondo - to establish the Polotet Game Reserve for hunting  by oil-rich UAE royalty.

•Msomera water is not fit for human consumption. It is salty.

•The number of social services in Msomera is far less than in Ngorongoro.


Ngorongoro Councilors Reject New Land Use Plans

May 26, 2023'


 The often explosive land issues in Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region saw another twist at the weekend when the Maasai councilors reportedly rejected the new land use plans.

All of the 35 councilors who were present during the full council meeting on Friday unanimously voted against the plans. 

Reports from Loliondo, the remote district seat 400km northwest of Arusha said none of the civic leaders supported new proposals for land use in the area.

Heads were rolling among the district government leaders on the saga given the multiple land use nature of the vast administrative area.

The 14,036 square km district is inhabited by nomadic pastoalists and has large tracts of land under conservation and tourism projects.

The councilors who rejected the plan on Friday said in a statement seen by The Citizen that they were not fully involved in the proposed land use plans. "It (the plan) was wholly imposed on us from the central government with the support of the conservation agencies", they pointed out.

They added: "We are not in support of this plan because it has little to offer for improved livelihoods of the people of Ngorongoro."


May 2, 2023


Tanzania forces the Maasai from their land to make way for trophy hunters and tourists. 

April 4, 2023  by Cédric Gouverneur

‘The government only like us as a tourist asset’

The Maasai have suffered over a century of forced evictions from their ancestral lands in Tanzania in the name of both game hunting and conservation. Has recognition that global biodiversity goals depend on indigenous peoples come too late?

(This is the best account of the present Maasai story that I have seen ...KGP, editor)'[


April 27, 2023

April 27, 2023 Nairobi – The Tanzanian government’s forced eviction of Maasai communities from areas in northern Tanzania they have long inhabited violates their rights to land, livelihood, and culture, Human Rights Watch said today. Since June 2022, the authorities have engaged in abusive and unlawful tactics, including beatings, shootings, sexual violence, and arbitrary arrests to forcibly evict residents from their land.

The government announced on June 6, 2022 that it would demarcate 1,500 square kilometers of village land as a game reserve, prohibiting the primarily pastoralist Maasai residents of Loliondo division, Ngorongoro district, from living on the land, using it for grazing, or even entering the area to seek water for household and agricultural use. Community members told Human Rights Watch they were not adequately consulted prior to the decision, as required by Tanzanian law.

.....long, thorough article continued here:

What President Samia Needs To Know About Ngorongoro

The story of indigenous people dispossessed by colonialism is an old one - spanning over three centuries. You would think we would have become more civilized, more compassionate, and more able to do something to prevent such a violation of human rights. It is my hope that, in telling you this story, you will be compelled to put a stop to this practice of violating the rights of indigenous people and pushing them off their land.

The indigenous Maasai people are a remarkable pastoral people who have, for hundreds of years, lived with their cattle on the rangeland, co-existing and interacting with wildlife.

Because of their expertise in management and conservation of resources for wildlife and livestock, the Maasai ecosystem is home to spectacular assemblages of African wildlife populations.

This is in contrast to most of the rest of the world where the average size of wildlife populations has plummeted more than two-thirds in less than 50 years, according to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), which resident Maasai call their ancestral home, Maasai ecological strategies and practices are being dismantled by external pressures, such as neo-colonial racist policies restricting the use of their land, loss of land through encroachment by farmers surrounding the area, and land grabs by foreigners.

The parts of Maasailand (in Tanzania and Kenya) -- which are still left with wildlife -- have been populated by Maasai for centuries. Traditionally, Maasai children started learning about the ecosystem when they were old enough to herd small livestock. The Maasai were expert conservationists, maintaining a healthy environment for livestock and wildlife.

Before they were pressured to move from the Serengeti to settle in the more confining Ngorongoro highlands in 1994, they moved during the change in seasons, seeking better resources when water and pasture dried up. In the rainy season they lived in the lowland plains between Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti plateau, and in the dry season they sought grazing land in the highlands or near the sources of streams.

We conserve nature because we live in it, because it is our life, it is the life of our cattle. The conservation people [referring to NCA authorities] do it because it gives them employment, because they get money from the white men [tourists]. For them, if the white man does not bring money, it is the end of the story. For us, even if the white man does not bring money we will still preserve the environment. We did it before the white men came. We do because it is our lives, it is the life of our ancestors and our unborn children.” …. (elder man)

Even though UNESCO acknowledged the importance of both wildlife and Maasai and their interaction -- and declared Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve -- the management of the NCA claimed there was a conflict between wildlife values and pastoralist activities and in 1980 the NCA authorities sought to expel the pastoralists - even though it was their homeland.

The population numbers cited by the NCA Authority as evidence of indigenous overpopulation and unsustainability include non-indigenous NCA staff (some of them retired), their families, tourist-related staff, health care workers, school teachers, religious workers, (15% of total population) and immigrants (40% of total population).

Since 1980 multiple attempts have been made to force the Maasai to leave the land. In addition, the NCA authorities closed several water and pasture resources to the Maasai livestock and banned cultivation, resulting in malnutrition among the residents.

Promises had been made -- as compensation for taking their land -- to provide grain and social services, such as education, health care, and water; but these promises were only partially fulfilled.

Take education for example: the NCA, with 100,000 people, occupies half of a District, while the other half of the District has the same number of people. Yet, only 37% of the whole District primary education students are in NCA. This means about 30,000 more students should be enrolled in the NCA in order to keep pace with the schooling rate of the rest of the district.

And there are health care centers that nobody wants to go to because there is a language barrier between the doctor and the patient.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 countries included these three goals: Goal 1: No poverty, Goal 2: No hunger, Goal 3: Good health and well-being. Because the authority stopped cultivation and restricted grazing land, and failed to provide sufficient food relief (maize), Goals 1, 2, and 3 are not met. Good nutrition requires 270kg per household of four, once a year. The NCAA claims to give 100kg of maize per year, while Maasai residents claim it's more like 25kg twice a year (50kg), and not to all households, and it’s not free.

Ngorongoro symbolises a growing pattern of land use conflict between indigenous and capitalists all over the world. Questions about the nature of development, the tradeoff between productivity (maximum resource extraction)  and sustainability (subsistence), and the future of traditional ways of life, all occur in other places.

“The biggest source of injustice of indigenous people in local communities right now, is coming from conservation authorities in the protected lands.” (Yannick Ndoinyo, Twitter)

Even though tourism has exploded, and earnings from foreigners are rising annually, and Tanzania is one of the most popular destinations in Africa, the indigenous people -- whose homeland is being used -- have seen little of the benefits from tourism.

The neglect by the NCA Authority of its responsibilities to the Maasai pastoral economy; its increasingly restrictive measures against grazing and cultivation; its repressive and punitive measures against the local population; and its increasingly evident failure to stem the tide of poaching from within its ranks; and environmental degradation caused by land and resource uses which affect both wildlife and pastoralist interests -- such as the effect of big hotels and rampant tourism on the NCA ecosystem -- all show that the NCA Authority has failed to fulfill its dual mandate of conservation and pastoral development.


Latest News: “On 28th October 2020 when our people were responding for call of democracy, police and game rangers (Ngorongoro conservation game wardens) opened fire against innocent armless civilian voters and polling agents in Oloirobi and Ngorongoro, in an attempt to remove polling agents for opposition political parties to facilitate election rigging in favor of CCM candidates. One person has been confirmed dead and four others have been severely wounded by the police bullet."

When you go on travel "adventures" please take note of how the local people are treated. Call out and report your touring company if you think they are complicit in poor treatment of the locals, or if they are harmful to the environment, or if the locals don't profit from your travel "adventure". ... It is our intent to keep score.

The following is from the Chanzo, from which the above title comes .....

Lies and more lies

The narrative is also false. When the Conservation Area was first established in 1959, the population was almost 9,000 and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) suggests that there were more than sixty thousand  people in the area in 2012. If the population rises by 30 per cent as per NBS data (2012 National census), then the NCAA population by 2022 will be approximately or slightly beyond 80,000 people. President Samia and her government suggest that Ngorongoro, a land of  8,292 km² area cannot accommodate around 90,000 pastoral people! If we are to go by the NBS (2017) estimates then the population density is now ten people per km²,  which is far much lower than the 51 people per km² nationwide..

In fact, Ngorongoro is geographically bigger than countries like The Gambia and Cape Verde. It is more than five  times bigger than Dar es Salaam and almost four times bigger than Zanzibar. Besides, the same animals that the government complains to be nearing extinction every year in their millions from Ngorongoro via Serengeti to the five times smaller Maasai Mara. Saying that they are on the brink of extinction in Ngorongoro, where its population density is 9 to 10 people per km², is nothing but a preposterous tale.

As for the claim that human settlement disturbs wildlife, available facts also render this claim false. Between December to April every year, which coincides with the only rain season in Ngorongoro, the migration of millions of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle among others, arrive in the Ngorongoro short grass plains. Wildebeest must be avoided by the pastoral people to avoid the deadly malignant fever to livestock particularly cows. So, in the five months that the wildlife migration is in the Ngorongoro area and the only calving period for the wildebeest, you cannot spot any single cow in the plain, making the claim that pastoralism is disturbing wildlife calving an argument dead on arrival. Limiting pastoralism access to the highland, which has been the case since 1974, and the more restriction in 2017 and the current recommendation being considered to grab 82 per cent of the NCAA land for conservation, mean nothing else to pastoralists than a genocide that should not be allowed to happen.

Check out the rest of the  Chanzo report


Please read the full report (history and background): Maasai Eviction from Ngorongoro (220 pages - PDF)