PASTORALISTS IN TANZANIA: A NEW EMERGING GROUP OF IDP’S
For two decades now the world has witnessed the u-turn of pastoralists from developing society to a backward developing community. It was hard for me to believe that we can have a developing trend of internally displaced people in Tanzania.IDP’S are generally generated by situations of conflicts, scholars may say no we have no conflicts in Tanzania, but before you say no, ask you self a questions do we have resource based conflicts in Tanzania? The answer is absolutely positive.
Loss of Land though Government acquisition and creation of conservation areas and game reserves have deprived people’s Land. Such measurers have created Land less mobile pastoralists and farmers. These land disputes have been due to land alienation and multiple allocations of land/resource rights on village lands.
From the end of the 1980s this has been the case especially in Tanzania, in the Districts of Monduli, Kiteto and Siman-jiro, Kilosa and Usangu. Conflicts occurred in places where large-scale agriculture and/or mining rights have been granted to private investors by the State. In Arusha Region underlying causes to conflict include both territorial issues and property claims where the access and control to critical resources has been very important. Conflicts on village lands have developed when State authorities have favoured land allocations to cultivators at the expense of the pastoralists or offered to investors at the expense of pastoralists.
Tanzania sells hunting blocks to anyone who can afford them, which usually means foreigners, who then bring friends/family/clients to hunt there. In 1990 there were only 47 blocks in the country, but by 2000 that number had tripled, to 140. At present about twenty percent of the country is designated for hunting. All across Africa, the same thing is happening - hunting is catching on like wildfire - and it's not hard to see why. Money. Animals are the crude oil of the savanna.
Thankfully, South Africa's problems are being brought to light by a zealous local media, as well as by television programs such as Britain's Cook's Report, which several years ago exposed the controversial activity of canned hunting, or shooting a lion that is caged and often drugged. (Despite the program, though, canned hunting still goes on.)But in Tanzania, Loliondo has always been shrouded in secrecy. From the time it was leased to Otterlo Business Cooperation (OBC), there were questions. The price the Arabs paid was never made public; the Maasai, whose cattle have been allowed to roam across boundaries and terrain like Loliondo for centuries, were never consulted; and the way the application was rushed through led to rumors of presidential favors and government corruption. (This is quite possible, seeing Tanzania came 82 out of 91 countries covered in Transparency International's 2001 Corruption Perceptions Index.)
The questions comes where is our home? what have we done wrong to deserve this sort of measurable life. No food, no school, no land, no water, no shelter. We have turned out to be dogs of rich men in the cities and towns; we sleep on corridors, some time not paid.
No more grazing land, we are treated as trouble mongers, our poor houses are burnt to ashes. We are left like antelopes around Serengeti planes, the value and dignity of life as human being, no longer with us. Sometime an antelope is more valuable than we pastoralists.
We move up and down, west and east, north and south, but still we are called invaders. We walk long distance with our children while other’s people’s children go to school, where is our future? Parents never went to school as well as their generations don’t go to school. For forty years of independence, no hope no future. We are now living in extreme poverty and not sure of our future, since we solely depend on livestock for our survival? It is just a matter of time before our cattle all die due to lack of water and grazing areas, Said Ephraim Kaura, an elder from Ololosokwan Village in Ngorongoro.
Liberalization has prompted high marginalization of the rural poor as a lot of pieces of land are being alienated from peasants and pastoralists. Thus causing conflicts over natural resources. This was possible because when they move elsewhere in order to secure for forming and grazing area, they cause conflict with people they meet, we have at hand live examples at Rufiji, Ihefu, Kilosa and lindi,
The director of wildlife has more power to grant concession for exclusive hunting rights without involving villagers .Practically this has taken place in Loliondo where the whole Loliondo Game Controlled area was granted to OBC and left indigenous as squatters on their land. OBC hunting activities have long struggled to get accommodated within traditional grazing patterns of pastoralists in the area, which struggle has at times precipitated into sore relationships and open conflicts. The land leased to OBC and the other sold to Thomson Safari in Loliondo are seasonal migrated corridors. The same situation was found taking place in Sudan whereby most of the pastoralist seasonal migrated corridors was granted to investors from U.A.E, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In the first place, upon arriving at the Ololosokwan villages, one receives the following
network text message through the Zain mobile network.
Dear Guest, Welcome to the UAE. Enjoy the best network coverage and other unmatched services only with
Etisalat. Please use<+> or <00>before the country code for international calls. For directory services call
181, for availability of GPRS, MMS 3G roaming services call Etisalat Travellers help line 8002300 & for
inquiries on Tourism, entertainment, shopping, etc call 7000-1-7000(Roaming rates apply) Have a pleasant stay
in the UAE.”
The above network text message leaves allot to be desired. One wonders whether Ortello
Business Corporation is a private company or is a sovereign state within Tanzania.
With all these stories and experiences. Ultimately, the Nation is producing IDP’s due economic imbalances and harsh government policies. The acts of government and investors towards pastoralist are a sheer robbery and plundering of indigenous resources.
by Onesmo P.K. Olengurumwa(LL.B)
Independent researcher and human rights activists.