Tanzania: Facing threat of evictions, Maasai stand up to government

By Robert Bociaga
Posted on Thursday, 21 April 2022 06:00

The Tanzanian government’s renewed attempts to evict the Maasai in Ngorongoro hit a wall of protests both locally and abroad. Behind the anti-eviction slogans chanted by the Maasai there is a demand for reforms, transparency and accountability from the government.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is Tanzania’s primary tourism destination as it attracts many foreign visitors, investors, hunting groups, and hoteliers, all bringing in millions of dollars through fees. It is located in the north between the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro.

Researchers say the Maasai people have been living in the area for generations, even before the establishment of the reserve. In 1958, those who had been relocated from the Serengeti signed an agreement that guaranteed them the rights to occupy and use the land. Despite this, the Maasai have in recent years faced mounting restrictions that have affected their livelihoods, leading to poverty.