Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is renowned the world over for its wildlife and as the home of the indigenous Maasai people. To promote tourism, the government wants to enlarge the protected area – and evict more than 80,000 people, mostly indigenous Maasai. We cannot accept gross human rights violations under the guise of conservation.
Following criticism of the state of the World Heritage Site in an inquiry initiated by UNESCO, Tanzania’s government has prepared a land use model and resettlement plan that would trample the rights of the local people: The package would enlarge the territory in which the Maasai are not allowed to graze their cattle, cultivate crops or settle.
More than 80,000 people are to be displaced, writes the Oakland Institute in its study, “The Looming Threat of Eviction”. 42,000 are expected to leave the NCA “voluntarily” because of their precarious living conditions – yet the government has contributed to this very poverty.