Global Solidarity with the Maasai in Tanzania
“Ms. Samia Suluhu, be the solution to the problems of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.” Protest organized by Maasai women on March 8 — International Womens Day.
The Tanzanian government is raging a brutal campaign against the Maasai — to trample their right to land and life. At the Oakland Institute, we have shattered the government’s lies while amplifying voices of the communities in Loliondo and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). Our research has exposed that the forced evictions, livelihood restrictions, and elimination of vital education and health services — done under the guise of conservation — are really about driving the Maasai from their lands to increase tourism revenues for foreign corporations and the government.
We are honored to stand alongside the impacted communities, shine an international spotlight on these atrocities, and mobilize the global community in defense of the land rights of the Maasai. Our unrelenting advocacy is having an impact, and it would not be possible without support of individual donors like you!
Here are just a few of the highlights of what your support has made possible recently:
In April, echoing concerns raised by the Institute, the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on the government to immediately halt plans for relocation and forcible evictions of Maasai communities from their ancestral lands. This follows a similar communication from nine UN Special Rapporteurs last spring, with whom we continue to work diligently.
Our work to inform the world and bring the plight of the Maasai to international headlines has been successful. Just in the last few months, the Associated Press, Le Monde Diplomatique, Grist, and DW News, have amplified our campaign on this struggle to millions across the globe.
Persistent advocacy with major donor countries to Tanzania remains strong as several embassies, including that of the United States, are organizing travel and meeting with the impacted communities.
We are taking on the World Bank for its support of a project to “improve management of natural resources and tourism,” which our research revealed has actually financed the government agencies responsible for evictions, extrajudicial killings, and livelihood restrictions.
As the state of Tanzania has gone increasingly authoritarian and repressive in recent years, we continue to provide desperately needed resources to partner organizations and affected communities for legal and medical support.
We have sent the Tanzanian government a clear message — the world is watching and we will not stop until the rights of the Maasai community to land and life are realized!
WITH YOUR SUPPORT WE CAN DEFEND THE LIVES AND RIGHTS OF THE MAASAI!
But we can’t stop here. Approximately 70,000 Maasai pastoralists have been evicted from Loliondo, while access to basic services — including healthcare and education — has been cut for 90,000 people in the NCA. Restricted access to water and grazing land has led to the death of over half a million livestock — a vital blow to countless livelihoods. Quite simply, the Maasai way of life is under attack.
I am writing today to ask for your urgent support so we can double down in the months ahead and continue our advocacy and assist courageous Maasai land defenders on the ground. Please make your tax-deductible donation today — and make it as generous as you can. Thank you in advance!