Mar 06, 2012

Maasai: Livestock Keepers Demand Involvement In Crucial Decisions

At a meeting with the minister, Maasai representatives voiced their concerns against regulations on livestock movement.

Below is an article published by All Africa:


MAASAI livestock keepers in Wami Sokoine village in Mvomero District, Morogoro region have called on the Government to involve them in all decisions affecting them and their herds because some decisions brought losses to them.

They made the comment on Friday at a meeting with the Minister for fisheries and livestock Development Dr David Mathayo, who was on a one-day official tour to Mvomero where they said the decision of forcing them to vacate some areas had negatively affected them much. Speaking on behalf of others, Mr Julius Ole Megurei said the Government should involve them in the matters to come up with a decision fair to all sides instead of making a decision without involving them.

"The government has forced us to vacate the areas and to reduce the number of cattle, but these things can be discussed together and a better decision be made instead of taking our cattles by force. The Government should think on this because it really makes loss to us," he complained.

The farmers also requested the Government to allow free movement of livestock from one region to another to seek for food instead to banning it.Mr Ole Megurei said the livestock keepers had to move from one region to another seasonally, looking for pasture for their herds. Prohibiting them from moving around with their animals was therefore death to their livestock.

Answering their complaints, the Minister said the people had the right to ask the government to involve them in decision making on matters concerning their life."We are improving good Governance so residents can be involved in decision making. The act of not involving the people is a mistake and will not be repeated," Dr Mathayo said.

The government had not slapped a ban on free movement of people with their livestock. On the contrary, it demanded that people get permission from District livestock advisors to avoid shifting to the Regions or districts where there were livestock diseases.