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The Maasai tribe is found in both Kenya and Tanzania in Eastern Africa and are mainly nomads (pastoralists); usually slim and tall in stature. The gradual threat of the climate which results in extreme temperature is slowly affecting the source of livelihood of this distinctive tribe. It has been observed that some of the Maasai who could not cope with this change in climate is slowly migrating to urban cities, where they are picking up jobs as security guards.
They complained that the extreme weather is not making the business of pastoralism lucrative, as most grazing lands are disappearing and the ones found are distant. Tanei Sanaipei from Namanga in Kenya border town, who agreed to speak with Tina Armstrong-Ogbonna, a caravan journalist said the disappearance of more grazing lands recently almost led to a communal clash, as a Maasai was almost mobbed by a neighbouring community. He said the gods could be angry and the earth is reacting by the increased temperature been experienced.Tanei also argued that no amount of science could explain the change in climate but that man’s wickedness is increasing globally.
Whether the gods are angry or the earth is getting hotter due to global warming and resulting in climate change, one not too distant truth is that more Maasai would migrate to urban cities and loose interest in pastoral farming. This would lead to threat in food security as there would be less meat for sale, increase population in cities across East Africa, lost in cultural trait as the urban Maasai would have to adapt to their new environment and culture, and gradual extinction of the MAASAI RACE.
It would be pertinent for Governments in Eastern African Countries to work towards helping the Maasai race, in adapting to Climate Change and provide schemes that would boost pastoral farming in this region, as a meatless society could result in a protein-deficient diet and further compound the level of mal-nutrition in Africa.



MaDube's picture

Climate change is real

Thanks for this insightful piece. Indeed the Maasai and all of us need saving from climate change. This year my country (Zimbabwe) had a terribly cold winter and is currently having a terrible hot summer, something that we never had before. We were famous for our pleasant weather throughout the year but clearly things have changed. Something needs to be done soon or we all face catastrophic changes that are irreversible.

tina armstrong-ogbonna's picture


The Youth Caravan is focus on demanding justice because climate change is not a political or econmy tool for polluters to trade with through carbon credit but a time to give a human face to their negotiations and decisions at this year's climate change conference in Durban South Africa.Have you signed the WE HAVE FAITH PETITION,go online at can make a change with your petitons and others you can convince to sign the petition.Keep the voice calling.

Hallo Tina,
first congrats for such an insightful article. I have had achance to work in a project in kajiado which is predominantly inhabited by the Maasai and i do echo your concerns indeed climate change is hitting the reknown nomads and pastorallists hard. Unfortunately the major victims of these change are young maasai girls who are forced into early marriages when the drought hits and the father needs money to buy food for his more preffered kids the boys ;or morans. These girls are exchanged for some cattle to push on the family pride during the harsh weather conditions. As a result of this, young masai girls have also been denied the rght to access to education and those who have atleast gone to the formal schooling end up at class eight and very few proceed to the secondary level.It builds in as a ladder of challenges as even when exposed to the formal schooling they are the most absentee kids in the schools due to issues of workload at home of looking for their most priced treasure water for themselves and their cattle. As a result the girl child education in the masai society is heavily reliant on donors who volunteer to sponsor the girls to school and while there the biggest challenge is changing their attitudes to accepting that educating agirl was as important or even more imortant as educating a boy.cnsequently these girls perform very poorly at the national exams but not because they are not bright but because environmental and climate change is robbing them the very basic needs in their life. Quite sad and i hope the governments do something as themaasai culture inteslf is a very huge attraction fostering tourism in these countries.

tina armstrong-ogbonna's picture

i feel for the maasaic

many race and tribes across the world are going through a lots of hard times,and women are the most vulnerable n at the receiving end. do you know that in afghanistan women are becoming afraid because the UN soilders will soon be leavin and they are likely to return to the status quo of voice less women.we need more women activists to fight for just cause of women across the world.

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