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'Tourism is a curse to us'

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Alpha, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. A

    Alpha JF-Expert Member

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    Sep 6, 2009
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
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    When will we ever learn:mad:

    'Tourism is a curse to us'

    The Masai have been herding cattle across the great plains of Tanzania for generations, their nomadic lifestyle helping to preserve the wildlife of East Africa. Now, they are being forcibly evicted so that tour operators can turn their homelands into vast "nature refuges" for wealthy holiday makers.

    Twilight is swift near the equator. As the cloud castles on the western horizon turn a tandoori red, the children are hurrying the goats into the thorn enclosure that keeps them from the leopards. A Masai elder passes on the path up the hill, striding easily into the slope. His purple plaid wraps him from shoulders to knees; there's a long-bladed spear in his left hand, a furled umbrella is strapped to his back. With his free hand he is busy with a mobile phone. He looks up to nod a greeting. I can smell the smoke of cooking fires from the nearby Masai village. It is an ordinary evening in the highlands of East Africa.

    So it's particularly odd that I've just received a text message welcoming me to the United Arab Emirates. "Enjoy the best network coverage and other unmatched services only with Etisalat," it says. "Enjoy your stay in the UAE!"

    The explanation lies just over the hill, at a place the locals call "Arabiya". It is a safari camp complete with a mansion, a runway capable of taking large jets, a fleet of off-road vehicles and, evidently, a branch of the UAE phone network. This is the field headquarters of Ortelo Business Corporation (OBC), a safari company that does not advertise in brochures or on a website. Set up in 1993 by a UAE defence minister close to the Dubai royal family, it exists so that Gulf sheikhs and millionaires can play in the north Tanzanian wilderness, over an area, Loliondo, that is larger than Hampshire.

    This sweep of low hills and savannah is just one of many tracts of land that the dollar-hungry Tanzanian government has pawned to foreign investors. The country's "development strategy" says there must be a million tourists by 2010 – and it seems that officials will do anything necessary to make that happen. One quarter of the country has been earmarked for "conservation". Generally this means development for safari tourism, with the people who live on the land in question often forcibly excluded by the government.

    A few miles across the hills from Arabiya is a new enterprise, run by a different, rather more high-profile safari company. The Enashiva Nature Refuge is to be a hotel and camping development on 12,000 acres, planned by an award-winning US eco-tourism company, Thomson Family Adventures. While Thomson (which is no relation to the British holiday company) boasts of its philanthropic credentials, locals claim it has banned the Masai and their herds from their traditional grazing and watering grounds. Thomson denies this.


    "Pastoralists have always been given access to a spring during the dry season," it says. But more important, according to the semi-nomadic herders, is the right to move cattle through the land to seasonal grazing grounds. Thomson discusses these issues with a committee of local elders, but for two years the Enashiva border has seen shootings and violent confrontations between herders, Thomson guards and the police.
    Liz McKee, the British general manager of Thomson's Tanzania operations, told me that the project would conserve the lands and the animals. Personally, she didn't think the local pastoralists would be able to go on living as they have for centuries: "There ain't enough land," she says. "I don't see that the Masai can continue just grazing hundreds and hundreds of cattle till the end of time."

    McKee has little respect for some aspects of Masai tradition. She particularly objects to their polygamy and their attitudes to women, such as marrying-off 12-year-old girls.


    "It's very hard," she says. "I don't see any reason to uphold their way of life." Yet Thomson's website, like every safari company brochure, features the Masai in their red and purple robes, as part of the $6,500-a-fortnight experience.

    Here in the heart of Tanzanian Masailand, you can also see what looks like the systematic destruction of the culture and livelihoods of Africa's most iconic tribe. Elegant, clever and maverick, the Masai have fascinated adventurers since the mid-19th century. With Egyptian cheekbones and chivalric warrior codes, the nomadic Masai have been the backdrop to a bookshelf-full of white person's fantasies of Africa, from Ernest Hemingway to Peter Beard. But now they are being turned into a ghetto race, unwanted in Africa's new Disneylands. Some of the many foreign-owned tourist companies have been complicit in the Tanzanian government's parcelling up and flogging off of the lands over which the Masai roamed, evicting families in their hundreds from parks.

    In July and August, according to NGOs, hundreds of Masai farms were burnt by policemen in Loliondo, after herdsmen hit by drought had moved cattle on to the land leased by OBC. "A Masai is good for a tourist's photograph, useful to carry your bags to the camp, or even to guide you to see the animals," says Moringe ole Parkipuny, a grand old Masai rights campaigner, and Tanzania's first Masai MP. "But in the end the animals are far more valuable than people."

    If proof were needed of his gloomy verdict, it comes in north Tanzania's honeypot destination, the mountains of Ngorongoro. Here, the Masai are faced with eviction by the government in their tens of thousands, for the sake of the 25 rhino that are the star attraction of the Ngorongoro crater.


    Ololosokwan is also to be found in northern Tanzania. A backwater village six hours' drive from the nearest tarmac road, it is a Masai trading post, and humming with gossip when we arrive. Rumour has it the Sheikh of Dubai himself is expected to arrive at the Ortelo Business Corporation's ranch in the next few days – which accounts for the hard-looking Arab men in a numberplate-less 4x4 we saw in a roadside café. Also visible are the red berets of Tanzania's feared Full Force special police. When important visitors arrive in Arabiya – according to local gossip – a carpet is rolled out all the way from the runway to the palace. We want to photograph this – but locals are nervous. "People are arrested when they go near the place. OBC have guns."


    The Sheikhs and their friends drive Japanese off-road vehicles at high speed through the bush and they shoot at the animals. No living thing, it appears, is safe, even in Tanzania, a country that sells itself to the ever-growing safari market as an eco-tourism destination, where "harassment of animals is avoided". A district councillor in Ololosokwan, the nearest village to Arabiya, told me that OBC's licence permits only five lions to be killed per season. But then, who's counting? He cannot.

    The area is closed to journalists and NGOs, and the locals have been warned by the police that even to speak about OBC will get them into trouble. A request to OBC's local agent for an interview was not answered. Discreetly, people in the villages tell us about "the Arabs" and their bizarre colonisation of Loliondo district. For six months every year, they say, they have to submit to the Arab managers' orders about where and how they take their herds. If there are disputes with OBC over the land, Tanzanian policemen punish the villagers with beatings. A Masai herdsman told me that he'd seen traps set to catch leopards alive, which is apparently allowed under OBC's unique deal with the government. An Arab tourist gave another herdsman a cola and then shot the guinea-fowl gathered around his cows. It took him and his cousins all night to round up the frightened cattle. Other accounts tell of OBC using helicopters to round up wildebeest for the guns, and of wounded animals being left in the forest.

    These things are terrible to the Masai: they despise people who kill wild animals for pleasure. To keep livestock on the dry, unyielding lands they range as wide as possible. That is not easy in what becomes a free-for-all shooting gallery. Last summer a 29-year-old Masai died, run over accidentally by an Arab tourist's vehicle, according to the authorities. But the herdsmen with him insist he was shot first, and then the vehicle ran over his body deliberately. There is no evidence to support the allegation, but the Masai are highly suspicious of the autopsy report.


    OBC does some good work: in May, it donated sacks of maize towards a famine relief effort in Loliondo. It pays several villages 25m Tanzanian shillings (about £14,000) each for the disruption caused by the hunting. In Ololosokwan they refused the money. "We weren't consulted when the Arabs were given the hunting bloc," said Kirando ole Lukeine, one of the elders. "So this village wants nothing to do with it. We were told we must obey the government but it's just another trick to take land from us." Another Masai elder told me: "We feel like refugees in our own country."


    Along the gouge of the Great Rift Valley, through Kenya and Tanzania, lie arid lands and great grass savannahs – home to the biggest concentration of large wild animals in the world. The Masai, leading their goats and cattle from one area of grazing to another as the seasons shift, fit in well with the life cycles of big game. But Masai don't eat wild animals – they don't eat much except goat, beef, milk and blood. They only kill the great predators for ritual purposes, or when threatened by them.

    But this symbiosis, long recognised as efficient by ecologists, doesn't fit with modern development strategies. In Tanzania particularly, the pastoralists have been pushed out of their richest grazing lands to make room for tourists – often with disastrous results, both for the landless people and for the ecology of the new parks. Governments, or some government officials, have got rich: Tanzania, which in 2008 ranked joint 102nd out of 180 countries on the list of the world's least corrupt countries, earned $9.3m in 2002 from hunting licences alone. (Repeated attempts to get the Tanzanian government to comment on this story were ignored.) Very little of that money appears to have been spent on the communities that host the hunters: the poverty levels are among the worst in East Africa and much of the main road to Ololosokwan seems to be not indistinguishable from a river bed.


    In Tanzania, the process of removing pastoralists from the plains started in 1959, when the British colonial government made the great grass sea of the Serengeti – in Masai the name means endless plain – a human-free wildlife reserve. They did a deal with the Masai, a fairly honourable one, it seems, compared with what was to follow. The clans agreed to leave the plain and take possession of the adjacent volcanic highlands of Ngorongoro, famous for its enormous rhino-haunted crater. Here, the colonial administrators ruled, the Masai clans could live in perpetuity, with full rights to the grazing and water.

    Then, in 1961, a Tanzanian government took over. More national parks were created, and evictions followed. In 1973 the government of Julius Nyerere went back on the deal the Masai had done with the British, and excluded them from the crater of Ngorongoro. At the heart of Nyerere's socialist view of land ownership was a belief that all land must be productive. The pastoralists, although responsible for producing almost all the nation's beef, were not productive in the modern agricultural sense. They were shiftless, ungovernable and "uncivilised". The government banned their language (it is still forbidden in schools, which may account for the high level of Masai illiteracy) and their clothes, the famous shukas in red, purple and blue. Nyerere even ordered the women to put on underwear.


    The Masai in the Ngorongoro conservation area cling on to the remains of the land the British promised them for ever, but in droughts they have to beg for water for their cattle from the luxury hotels that have been built on the crater rim. More of these are planned, despite objections from the international conservation bodies who monitor the area. Kempinski is the latest luxury hotel brand hoping to join the Serena chain, and others. The Masai have been told to make room; so far, 2,000 people have undergone forced eviction.


    Very few benefits of tourism have flowed to the people who own the land. No management job in the Ngorongoro conservation area has ever gone to a Masai. But they may sell beads, and dance for the tourists at the Serena. Today, 70% of the people live below the poverty line, and 15% of children do not survive to the age of five. But a third of a million tourists visit their land every year, earning the government-run park authority $10m.


    The huge plains and hills of Ololosokwan and Loliondo are one of the world's most remote places – eight hours in a 4x4 from the nearest tarmac. They look vast enough for everyone. But the reality is that the Masai are painfully squeezed between national parks and tracts of land owned by foreign investors. The Dubai concession, unsafe for grazing for the six months of the hunting season, is just a few miles from the Serengeti national park, where any cows that stray will be seized by the authorities. And beside that is the land that the American owners of Thomson Safaris

    Lesingo Ole Nanyoi's enkang, the little village of cow-dung huts and thorn-fenced paddocks where his extended family is based, lies right beside Enashiva. For as long as he can remember – and he was born here, 34 years ago – his family grazed and watered their 200 cattle on the stretch of land. It was, as far as they understood, common land, a watering place and a route for the migrating cattle herds that existed long before anyone established land rights in Tanzania. For a couple of years the government-controlled national brewery company had grown a little barley on a small area of the grassland. No one ever objected to the cattle herds.

    But in 2006 they found that the brewery had sold the farm to Thomson – one of the longest-established luxury tour companies in Tanzania. Thomson came up with a plan for a hotel, safari camps, shops and, of course, the "nature refuge". The award-winning Thomson sells encounters with the Masai and other "Tanzanian friends", but at the beginning of 2008 its guards, reinforced by armed police, began turning the herds away from their tribal pastures.


    Liz McKee, told me there would be jobs available on Enashiva, which is expected to begin operations next year. Thomson also plans to set up an independent not-for-profit organisation that will assist communities on conservation and development efforts. McKee reminded me that Thomson was widely praised by conservation groups for its brand of ethical tourism; indeed, earlier this year it was named by National Geographic as one of the top 10 "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth". Thomson has also co-sponsored a conference on philanthropic tourism.

    McKee invited The Observer Magazine to visit Enashiva and interview its local manager, Daniel Yamat. Before going, I asked Lesingo Ole Nanyoi if he would like a well-paid job in the hotel. "No!" he said. "That would not be possible." Lesingo's speech is slow and slurred, the result of a police bullet that shattered his jaw during a confrontation at Enashiva, in April last year, when guards and the police tried to confiscate the family's cattle. He sounds like someone who has had a bad afternoon at the dentist, but the injury left him with a mess of ugly scars beside his chin, and his jaw is still so weak he cannot chew. "The life of a Masai is his cattle. It gives us all we need, our food, our shelter. To stop me keeping cattle would take my breath out."

    Lesingo is a tall, very dark man, solemn and still. He is a junior elder, and the father of four young children by his two wives. He wears a beaded necklace with a disc of mother of pearl, bracelets, and beaded bands above his knees. The great distended hoops of his earlobes are looped for convenience over the top of his ears. Lesingo had to sell five of his best bulls to pay for his hospital treatment, at 300,000 Tz shillings each (£160). Seven of his family were arrested in the same
    fight.

    Angry confrontations occur with the unarmed Thomson guards all the time, Lesingo and other herdsmen told us. Often cows are confiscated for a day. If the police are called the herdsman are arrested and have to pay bribes to be released. In Soitsambu village, a fear-filled place, old Masai men beg for change to buy alcohol alongside spies working for the American tourist company.


    Other stories emerge from the three remote villages bordering Enashiva. Two herdswomen claim they were beaten in one fracas last year; both were pregnant and both lost their babies. We set off one morning with a local NGO, Women Pastoralists Committee, to interview them, but halfway down the track the officer was called on his mobile by his boss and told to turn back. "It's too dangerous for our work, and dangerous for you, too," she explained.


    James Lembikas, the chairman of Soitsambu village, told me that Thomson's enforcement of the boundary – and closure of the traditional pathways the Masai would use to access other grazing – had destroyed life in the three villages closest to the land. Up to 4,000 people had been affected: children were unable to get to school and 1,000 families had moved their cattle to other over-crowded grazing, close to the border of the Arab hunting camp.

    "Thomson did employ 12 local men as guards, but half of them left when the trouble started," said Lembikas. (Thomson says it now employs 11 unarmed Masai as wildlife scouts, who would be sacked if they became violent.) Lembikas supports the idea of development, "but the Thomson people and the government have to discuss together how to best use this land. This idea cannot work unless they agree to share the grass and the water."


    Lembikas agreed to accompany us to visit the three blighted villages, but he changed his mind after a phone call from Daniel Yamat, Thomson's manager at Enashiva. So we rang Yamat and arranged to meet at the disputed "Refuge". It is a gorgeous rolling plain of grass and acacia trees, framed by low hills, and amazingly empty compared with the bush outside it, where red-cloaked Masai with goats or cattle are visible most of the time. On the ranch we saw only a few zebra and a herd of grazing wildebeest. Yamat told us he could not show us anything or answer any questions. The reason for his invitation became clear 10 minutes after we left the site, when we were stopped on the road by the Tanzanian police. We were sent to the District Commissioner, who took our passports and ordered us to be escorted out of the region by an armed policeman and taken to Arusha, the regional capital, for investigation. The DC's secretary told us they were acting because of a complaint from Thomson about our questions.

    Two days later, in Arusha, an immigration official finally gave us our passports back, and apologised. "Those officials up there, they don't know the law and everything they do is because of politics," he said.
    We weren't entirely surprised. A brave Arusha-based journalist who has covered the Thomson and OBC stories told me the only way to visit was in secret and to work only after dark: Masai activists are regularly arrested and threatened. After the death at the hands of the police of a Masai leader who had protested to the Tanzanian president about the Thomson development, a New Zealand journalist, Trent Keegan, interviewed Masai victims of Thomson's policing last year. He was murdered a few days later in an apparent robbery in Nairobi. His friends believe his death is linked to his investigations, but there is no evidence to support that. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists is soon to issue a report on its investigation into his death.

    When I told McKee about our expulsion from the district, she told me categorically that Thomson does not pay the police or the authorities. "It's not in my budget," she said. And while she agreed there was a regrettable dispute, she said the violence was all coming from the other side – poisoned arrows were shot at visitors by the Masai, she claimed.
    Lesingo Ole Nanyoi and others hotly deny this. (Thomson has since invited me to revisit the site. I said I would consider doing so if I could bring local journalists and activists, a request they said they would consider.)


    McKee did admit that there was reason behind the Masai's grievances over the rights to the land – but that the dispute dates from the original acquisition of the ranch and was therefore the government's problem. Thomson had acquired the ranch legally (paying a reported $1.2m in 2006 for the 12,000 acres). "We're stuck in the middle of clan warfare and politics," groaned McKee. What would be best, she said, was for the Tanzanian government to pay the Masai compensation. "We could take the government to court, but we're not going to do that. We have to stay on the right side of them." Compensation, though, is not how the Tanzanian government works with the pastoralists. Notoriously, eviction and bullying has long been their preferred way of dealing with troublesome natives.

    In the malarial badlands by the Kenyan border, beneath the mountain called Oldonyo Sambu, I met a Masai with a hoe, an unusual sight among a people who usually look down on agriculturalists. But when these people were moved, over the last two years, their cattle did not last long in the alien land. Food was immediately a problem.

    In one hut I met Habo Gidagurja, bent over a large flat rock in her twig and mud hut – doing something straight from the Stone Age. With another piece of granite she was slowly grinding dried maize ears, turning them into a rough flour. She let me try – it was back-
    aching work, and in a couple of minutes my forehead was wet with sweat. Habo's hands were blistered from her hand-milling. A widow, it is the only way she can earn a few shillings and feed her two children and baby. They are among 1,200 former residents, mainly Masai, of the Ngorongoro conservation area. In the past two years the Tanzanian government has been serving them with letters ordering their removal to Oldonyo Sambu, a process that the government has assured worried observers from the international community is voluntary. It is not. The people we met said the government had promised each adult two acres to cultivate, financial compensation, a police post, water, tin roofs for their huts, a health clinic and a school. All they got was the latter – but since there is no means of earning money here, hundreds of miles from the tourist trail, few can afford the fees demanded by the teachers. They are 10km over rough tracks from the nearest village.

    Most of the younger men have returned, illegally, to Ngorongoro. One of the oldest, a Masai named Merinyeki Leina, shook my hand, grateful for our visit and pathetically hopeful of my power to help. "We miss Ngorongoro. If they told us we could go back, we would now. We could work there. We could grow food. Please tell everyone that if we stay here we will die."

    But if anything, more people from Ngoron-goro will be sent to this harsh place on the north Tanzania steppe. Some 4,000 more people have received eviction letters. The government authority has proposed a reduction of the population of the conservation area from 65,000 to 25,000. There are plans being considered for 14 more luxury tourist hotels, so people can access "the unparalleled beauty of one of the world's most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries", as a Tanzanian government brochure puts it. Unchanged, that is, except that 40,000 people will have made way for 25 rhinos and hundreds of thousands more tourists.

    "What is the answer?" one young Masai activist asked me in despair. (I cannot name him for his own safety). "People say to me, 'What has brought so many bad things on us? Are we being punished for our friendship with the British?' Could the British government persuade Tanzania to respect the agreements made 50 years ago?" I said I thought that was unlikely. "So what shall we do?" asked another activist. "Tourism is a curse to us now. Shall we poison the waterholes? Shall we kill all the animals so this bad time goes away?"
    have renamed the Enashiva Nature Refuge. The word means "happiness", in Maa: the locals smile at the irony of that.

    Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/06/masai-tribesman-tanzania-tourism
     
  2. S

    SafariThomson New Member

    #2
    Oct 8, 2009
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    I vehemently refute the protrayal of Thomson Safaris in this article.

    I cannot speak for the actions of the police, the government or OBC, with whom we are not associated, but I can emphatically deny any allegations of human rights abuses, land theft and other misdeeds that Mr Renton falsely associates with Thomson. We have been a supportive and reliable partner to Tanzania's many different peoples, including the Maasai, over nearly 30 years.

    To read more about our plans for Enashiva, our relationships with communities around the land and our history in Tanzania, please check out
    http://thomsonsafaris.wordpress.com/. Also feel free to leave a comment there should you have any further questions.

    Thank you.
     
  3. Steve Dii

    Steve Dii JF-Expert Member

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    How do you operate then if you're to deny your close ties with the authority?!
     
  4. S

    SafariThomson New Member

    #4
    Oct 8, 2009
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    We are not associated in any way, shape or form with OBC.
    Neither do we have the power to influence the national government or the police. I was not suggesting that we do not work with any authorities.

    We abide by the Tanzanian law as any other foreign investor, tour operator or private citizen must do.

    Our name, however, has been dragged into a debate that has nothing to do with us.

    We have worked directly with the community, a council of elders and traditional leaders, local schools, local women's groups, all levels of local government and everyday average people who live in the area. Loliondo and indeed Tanzania has some serious issues to work out, but we have been mistakenly swept up into issues that have nothing to do with us.

    Thomson has not, and would never, mistreat any human being Maasai or otherwise. We are a company who respects Tanzania's people, male and female, Maasai, Sukumu, Iraqw, Chagga and all other ethnic groups. After nearly 30 years in Tanzania, we have a long and well-documented history of fairness, reliability and responsibility. This has been a very, very unfortunate misunderstanding that was started with some malicious rumors which have gone completely out of control.

    Thank you for reading this.
     
  5. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Oct 9, 2009
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    Mr. Safari Thomson,
    Thank you for coming out and putting your case in public. In your case, why do you think the Masais are complaining? Why are they being evicted? Can your company live in harmony with the Masais?
    Thank you.
     
  6. M

    Mkandara Verified User

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    Oct 9, 2009
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    Wakuu zangu mimi nitaandika kwa lugha ya Taifa..Na mchango wangu uchukuliwe kama ni mawazo yangu ambayo haya represent upande wowote..

    Kusema kweli baada ya kusoma kwa makini maelezo ya mwandishi kidogo imenikera. Imenikera sio kwa matukio ambayo yamewakuta ndugu zetu Wamasai lakini kwa sababu mwandishi ametumia UKABILA na haki ya ardhi ile kwa Wamasai kupinga utawala au serikali.

    Inaonyesha wazi kwamba mwandishi anapinga hata Uhuru wa nchi yetu na kwamba ile ardhi ni ya Masailand na pengine kuonyesha hata makubaliano ya mkoloni kuwa na haki fulani kuliko uhuru wetu. Sisi wengine wote kwa makabila yetu yametukuta haya, soote tumekubali kupokonywa ardhi yetu kuubnda utawala mmoja chini ya Republic.. Leo hii hakuna ardhi ya wakerewe wala Wachagga au Wamasai na sidhani kama ni akili na utetezi mzuri kuonyesha Wamasai wakipeta ardhi yote ya kaskazini kama urithi wao toka karne na karne.

    Swala zito hapa ni jinsi shirika hili la Thomson linavyowatesa wananchi wetu na sio Wamasai, na pengine uuzaji wa adhi hiyo kwa Utalii jambo ambalo linatushinda wengi kuelewa.. Hivi kweli Thomson hawawezi kuendesha Utalii nchini bila wao kuhodhi ardhi kama mashirika mengine ya wazawa?..Tatizo kubwa nalopata na Utalii huu ni kwamba Utalii wetu unategemea baraka za mwenyezi Mungu yaani NATURE ni tamaduni na vitu ambavyo vipo na vilikuwepo toka karne na karne bila mkono wa binadamu kuboresha vivutio hivyo. Sielewi ni kitu gani mashirika haya (Thomson) wanachokifanya kuwawezesha wanyama kuwepo ktk maeneo hayo..kwa sababu kinachotangulia Utalii wetu ni Wanyama na mazingira wanayoishi.

    Ni muhimu sana tujifunze kutoka nchi nyingine wanafanya nini. bado inanishangaza sana kuona serikali yetu pamoja na wananchi wenmgi wanafikria kwamba Utalii ni Wanyama, au wageni kuja nchini mwetu kutazama mbuga zetu, hivyo maamuzi mengi yamejengwa ktk mishingi hiyo.
    Mimi leo hii nina hakika kabisa kwamba namba ya Watalii nchini imeongezeka kwa sababu ya nchi za Kiafrika zenyewe. watu kutoka Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Kongo, Zimbabwe na kadhalika wameingia nchini kibiashara na kuleta mchango mkubwa ktk mfuko wetu kuliko hizo mbuga na wanyama..kwani pato la Taifa linategemea proportion kubwa ya mchango wa Utalii unaobakia ndani na sii idadi ya wageni (wazungu) wanaoingia nchini.
    Hivyo watalii wawe kutoka ndani Tanzania, Africa au Ulaya kinacho hesabika ni matumizi (expenditure) yao ktk local communities ndio huchangia economic develeopment ya nchi..na sii hesabu ya GDP na mashirika makubwa ya nje ambayo sehemu kubwa ya fedha hizo (mauzo) hubakia Ulaya.
    Na kidogo kinachohesabiuwa na serikali kama kodi sijui asilimia ngapi haiwasaidii kitu kabisa wananchi wa sehemu hizo. Tumeyaona ktk madini na mashirika kama Barricks siku zote wanakuwa na utetezi hata kama wamefanya mabaya..Ni wa kwanza kujitetea na wa kwanza kununua ma International Lawyer... Thats bull, ni Ujinga mkubwa kwani uchumi unaokua linkages at local level...fedha inapozunguka ndani, the stronger and more diverse the local economic base.

    Kibaya kinachojionyesha hapa serikali yetu inahesabu pato la KODI kwa mmwaka kama ndio maendeleo.. yale yale ya kupima GDP, mwaka jana Utalii umeingiza 5 billioni baqsi mwaka huu tunataka tupate billioni 8 hata kama hakuna mzunguko wa fedha, kuongeza ajira au kuharibu mazingira..Ni mchezo ule ule wa sangara na Darwin's Nightmare!

    Binafsi nadhani umesfikia wakati tutazame upya Utalii wetu..Utalii sio Mbuga na wanyama wala Utalii sii Masai grazing isipokuwa ni Human grazing, hivyo mnapowawapiga vita Wamasai ni sawa na kupiga vita Utalii kwa upana wake. Watalii husafiri kama sehemu ya enjoyment ktk holidays zao, huja to consume the product we produce..Dubai wana wanyama gani! mbona ipo juu ktk Utalii! South Africa leo hii pato kubwa wanalopata linatokana na Business tourists, events, sports fishing na kadhalika.. sijui nao wameuza vipande vya bahari kwa wawekeshzaji..haaah! haaa! haaa..maanake pato la wanyama limeshuka kabisa kiasi kwamba watalii wengi wanakwenda kutazama mafuliko ya Zambezi, Killer sharks na scuba diving kuliko mbuga zao ambazo mahotel na mashirika kama haya yameziharibu kwa kuweka senyenge na vizuizi ktk pathways za wanyama...wanyama wengi wamekimbilia Botswana na Namibia kuatafuta makazi mapya kwani kujengwa kwa mahotel kumeonyesha kuingilia (trespass) mazingira yao. Naweza sema maonyesho ya Sabasaba ya siku chache yana attract tourists kuliko hizo mbuga za season..

    Wanabodi, ndugu zangu nakuombeni sana tujiepushe na mijadala inayolenga tabaka fulani la watu..Kuuzwa kwa Loliondo na mbuga nyingine liwe swala la kitaifa na sio swala la Masai kwani ardhi ile si ya Wamasai.. ni yetu sote na sisi sote tuna haki na ardhi ile kuliko hao Wamasai ambao wanadai makazi yao kutoka Kenya hadi Tanzania.. Na wao haowa hawa wamasai wameingilia ardhji za watu Morogoro, Shinyanga, Mara, Manyara wakidai haki ya wao kuwepo kuingia sehemu hizo...Wameua wnyeji wameiba mifugo ya watu kuharibu mashamba ya watu na kadhalika lakini wao wana kila sababu ya kujitetea...What good for the goose is good for the gander!
     
  7. S

    SafariThomson New Member

    #7
    Oct 9, 2009
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Messages: 4
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    Thank you for the opportunity to reply.

    We are absolutely not evicting anyone and have never evicted anyone.

    We support Maasai rights and the Maasai community around Enashiva and have been working directly with them, asking them what their priorities are, what their goals are and how we can work together to overcome social and economic obstacles.

    We have been falsely associated with wrongdoing when we have taken absolutely no part in such horrible behavior. We have lived in harmony with many of Tanzania's ethnic groups over the last 30 years, including the Maasai.

    Some terrible rumors about us have now been repeated so many times that people simpy believe it, without actually talking to us, without visitng the land, without speaking to the project manager (who is himself Maasai!!) and without seeing one single piece of evidence that suggests we have done these awful things.

    By the way, I am not a "Mr." - I am a woman. I know many women from the area around Enashiva, and I am very, very proud to help support their efforts to establish the healthcare, entrepreneurial and educational goals they desire.

    Thank you for reading my reply and considering this information.
     
  8. A

    Alpha JF-Expert Member

    #8
    Oct 9, 2009
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
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    Thanks for your reply. Do you know why this particular journalist would make up stories about Thomson? Exactly what reason would he have for making up these stories?
     
  9. S

    SafariThomson New Member

    #9
    Oct 13, 2009
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
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    I do not believe that Mr Renton is making the whole thing up. I think he is very, very poorly informed and has not done his due diligence.

    I have three main objections to his writing:

    1. He is not basing his opinions on fact. Throughout the article he cites "rumor" and "gossip" and at one point even states "there is no evidence" for one of the more damaging implications he makes. He clearly has a biased perspective.

    2. It is one thing to believe rumor and gossip but it is another thing to publish those opinions in the guise of journalism on an international forum. It is beyond irresponsible and does not meet basic journalistic standards.

    3. There are multiple issues that are co-mingled in the report: OBC, government policies, Maasai land rights, human rights, police actions, etc. etc.. We are a small safari company and have no influence over any of larger institutions or companies, and are certainly not responsible for historical issues. Renton shows his lack of in-depth knowledge and experience when he takes on all of these major issues and tries to connect them in one short article. The most insulting over-simplification is his suggestion that British Colonial rule was better than a Tanzania ruled by its own people. He should have taken a closer look and talked to a lot more people.
     
  10. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

    #10
    Oct 13, 2009
    Joined: May 5, 2006
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    And the least he could have done as a journalist was talk to you or a representative of your company to give balance to his reporting. Still, thanks for coming here to put the record straight.
     
  11. N

    Nyamera Member

    #11
    Apr 9, 2010
    Joined: Sep 2, 2009
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  12. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

    #12
    Apr 9, 2010
    Joined: May 5, 2006
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    Nyamera,
    Thank you for your report. It is very sad that the whole leadership in Tanzania is corrupt and they are selling our country for the cheap.
     
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