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Maasai Herders Lose Land to Tourism in Tanzania, Says New Report

May 11, 2018
Yale Environment 360

Maasai herding communities are being pushed off their ancestral land by the Tanzanian government and safari companies in favor of more lucrative tourism and hunting, according to a new report by the Oakland Institute, a California-based think tank. The restricted access to watering holes and arable land have made the Maasai more vulnerable to famine, particularly in recent drought years.

“As tourism becomes one of the fastest growing sectors within the Tanzanian economy, safari and game park schemes are wreaking havoc on the lives and livelihoods of the Maasai,” Anuradha Mittal, the Oakland Institute’s executive director and author of the report, said in a statement. “But this is not just about a specific company – it is a reality that is all too familiar to indigenous communities around the world. In too many places, governments, corporations, and even large conservation groups collude in the name of conservation, not just to force the indigenous off their land, but to force them out of existence.”