August 28th, 2012:

An impromptu meeting was held today at Arusha between Dismas Ole Meitaya and Yannick Ndoinyo to brainstorm on Ololosokwan! It was reiterated that all the educated people (youth and adults alike) should get involved significantly in helping the people of Ololosokwan. For instance, there is an exercise to formulate  a long term development plan for security of land tenure for many generations, tourism plan, pastoralism and instead of hiring technical experts to help draft these plans, we ourselves should do it! We therefore agreed that we need to work online and convene a meeting of all educated people at Ololosokwan to present ideas!

It was also agreed that U-CRT being an experienced organization in land rights issues and practical experiences should moderate our ideas and eventually develop the final drafts. A space will be created at this website to compile our ideas, so please visit this website often!

Also, for anybody with news about and from Ololosokwan should post it here to make it central for everybody to have access instantly!


9 thoughts on “News

    • ololosokwan says:

      I have not gotten through to our MP yet, but will try again soon. The information I have from reliable sources from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism confirm indeed that the government does not intend to evict any villagers from their lands. I will however ask the MP to counter-check.

  1. Susanna says:

    Thanks. Sounds good. Though the MNRT do not sound that reliable when they in press releases say that hunting is only taking place in game reserves. And there were evictions in 2009 and then a proposed land use plan with a GCA 2009 in it. I think public assurance that any such plans are definitely off is important.

  2. Paul Ole Leitura says:

    congratulation for the development of this Web,ideologically Am not supporting the idea of giving the NGO’s the responsibility of developing the draft of master plan of ololosokwan future development,we suppose have baseline information of what do we need to be included and which is applicable in practice,because this the area we need more attention in developing the long plan of our people. we need team to work on this basing on the baseline information we have.Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” P.L

    • ololosokwan says:

      This is agreeable! The reason we are compiling a directory of all educated people from Ololosokwan is to enable us allocate tasks and responsibilities according to the each other’s professions. Other tasks will be given to specialized NGOs.

  3. Paul says:


    The Germans Version

    In Tanganyika, the Germans for their part pursued a similar policy and attempted to confine the Maasai to the South and East of ‘the Great North Road.’ They permitted the brothers Adolf and Friedrich Siedentopf to grab land in the Ngorongoro Crater and set aside the Serengeti for sheep farming (Parkipuny, 1975). The Siedentopfs tried unsuccessfully to exterminate wildlife to give room for two farms in the Crater (Grzimek, 1960). Germans appropriated numerous farms around Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru. The Maasai sub-tribe, Ilkisonko from the plains of these mountains moved to Ngorongoro.

    The Maasai had to lose mountainous areas first. This is because, naturally and for very good reasons, they prefer to live on the plains rather than in the highlands. Maasai, though sentimentally attached to the highlands, prefers life on the plains. Cattle thrive better and fatten quicker there. Humans are less liable to bronchial trouble than in the damp, misty, highlands, and because the waters are temporary, malaria usually presents little problems. It is possible that Germans found few or no Maasai on the highlands, thus justifying land grabbing as the land was supposedly idle or underused or wasted.

    The ‘Sanya corridor’ comprised a series of German demarcated farms and ranches, such as the present day West Kilimanjaro ranch, which the British held back from re-alienation so as to allow the Maasai to the North and West of Kilimanjaro and Meru to cross over the saddle between the two mountains and utilise the grazing of the Sanya Plains and beyond. As part of boundary readjustments, which led to the notorious Meru land case, the Maasai lost this corridor and much of the Sanya Plains as well (Fosbrooke, 1972). In 1955 Lolchoro area South of Arusha town was the scene of large-scale alienation.

    On the foothills of Mount Munduli where there is the comparative favourable climate, the colonialists appropriated huge lands for themselves. The notorious Monduli Coffee Estate was established in 1931 though it existed before that year. Frank Anderson, an Australian criminal, annexed for himself the land that was to become Rasha Rasha Coffee Estate. Mr. Joseph Benesta owned another massive Tarosero Coffee Estate whose remains can still be seen at the West of the present day headquarters of Monduli District.

    All told, Greek and Boer settlers attempted to establish wheat and sisal plantations in either side of the present day Arusha-Dodoma Road as far as the eye can see. However these farms did not succeed. But the plains still bear the names, Inganui, places of wheat and Irkatan, places of sisal in Maa language. German settlers went as far as Lepurko and Losimingori where they established ranches. The present day Manyara ranch was established during or around that time.

    When the Germans were defeated in the First World War, according to the Versailles Treaty, they had to nominally lose their territories abroad. That was how Britain came to take over Tanganyika in the early 1920s. The war-weakened British could not start massive settler plantations in Tanganyika (Shivji, 1998). It opted for the ‘indirect rule’ policy which consisted of a campaign to settle peasants in Maasailand (Parkipuny, 1975).

    Meanwhile they established a few plantations and tried to develop those left by the Germans. Around 1926 the Oldeani coffee plantations started and led to the construction of the road from Mto-wa-Mbu, and a subsequent branch road to Mbulu which was previously approached from Mbugwe, or from the South via Dabil. The opening up of the 10

    Oldeani also permitted Murrels, the then District Commissioner Maasailand, to put the very first road up to the Crater rim from Kampi Nyoka around 1932 (for discussion see Fosbrooke, 1972). This was followed by the intensification of wildlife carnage and further marginalisation of Maasai who were already at their lowest ebb of suffering.

    In 1961 Tanganyika gained ‘independence.’ The new Government seemingly wanted to exceed the colonial ones by appropriating Maasai land. Nationalisation created over 400 parastatals including a number of big agricultural and ranching corporations. District development corporations were also established. These and other state organs were involved in what are called ‘national projects.’ Village lands were alienated to state organs like the army and prison services without consultation of the villagers (see Lane, 1996 & Shivji, 1998). This is how Oljoro National Service, Tanzania Military Academy, Makuyuni National Service, among others, acquired vast lands.

    In practice, lands taken over in the name of the state or in ‘public interest’ very frequently ended up being used for private benefit of the state bureaucracy and leaders. Alienation of over 100,000 of acres of pastoral land for the joint Tanzania-Canada Wheat Complex – now a monument of bad development – in Hanang District of Arusha Region northern Tanzania stands as one of several prime examples (Lane, 1996). National Food Corporation and Tanzania Breweries established similar farms at Loliondo, Munduli Juu, and West Kilimanjaro. In short Maasai land alienation multiplied after colonialism.

    To add insult to injury, small-scale cultivation opened its mouth wide enough to threaten swallowing the remaining Maasai land. The Government supports the spontaneous and organic immigration of peasants onto rangelands, citing common rights of all citizens for resources within the borders of their country, irrespective of places of origin. Massive wildlife conservation areas were also created.

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