MCV sent two of its members, Daniel Leturesh, MCV Community Development Liaison and Olgulului-Ololorashi Group Ranch (OOGR) Chairman, and Samson Leposo, MCV Associate Project Manager to share their direct experiences with the impact of conservation efforts in Amboseli National Park. Over the course of the three-day conference, MCV discussed what is happening in the Amboseli region around Amboseli National Park.
Sadly, the Maasai have been removed from their ancestral lands due to the premise that human activities are incompatible with conservation. This approach is referred to as ”fortress” conservation. For example, in 1974 the Maasai were removed from 39,206 hectares of their fertile land to establish Amboseli National Park which has severely interfered with their access to water sources and grazing lands. The Amboseli ecosystem has supported the Maasai people for centuries and they are an intrinsic part of the balance of the ecosystem. Despite the park boundaries, the wildlife continues to follow the Maasai and prefer to live outside of the park with the Maasai people and their livestock; nonetheless, the symbiotic balance between the Maasai, land, and wildlife, that existed for thousands of years, is breaking down.
Once the Maasai were displaced from their land and removed from their grazing lands and water sources, the suffering of the Maasai people increased. The Maasai were promised they would be given access to water, however, they have struggled for years without access to reliable water for themselves and their livestock. Despite the tourism in the area, the Maasai are seeing minimum benefits and extreme poverty caused by lack of water and grazing lands is forcing Many young Maasai to relocate to find employment for survival.