Zona de Desastre


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Kajiado county lies at the southern edge of the former Rift Valley province, about 80km from the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The county has a beautiful and diverse topography ranging from volcanic hills and valleys to expansive plains.

Kajiado sits on an area of 21,901 square kilometres and borders Nakuru, Nairobi and Kiambu to the north, Narok to the west, Makueni and Machakos to the east and Taita-Taveta and Tanzania to the south.

The name Kajiado is derived from the Maasai word 'Orkejuado' which means 'the long river' in reference to a seasonal river that flows west of Kajiado town. The Maasai are the second biggest group of pastoralists in Kenya, after the Somalis, numbering some 360000 out of a total pastoralist population of some 1.4 million.

The concept of private ownership was, until recently, a foreign concept to the Maasai. However, in the 1960s and 1980s, a program of commercializing livestock and land was forced on them initially by the British and later by the government of Kenya. Since then, their land has been subdivided into group and individual ranches. In other parts of Maasailand people subdivided their individual ranches into small plots, which were sold to private developers.

The new land management system of individual ranches has economically polarized the people; some Maasais, as well as outside wealthy individuals, have substantially increased their wealth at the expense of others. The largest loss of land, however, has been to national parks and reserves, in which the Maasai people are restricted from accessing critical water sources, pasture, and salt lick. Subdivision of Maasailand reduced land size for cattle herding, reduced the number of cows per household, and reduced food production. As a result, the Maasai society, which once was a proud and self-sufficient society, is now facing many social-economic and political challenges. The level of poverty among the Maasai people is high and a society that had a long tradition of pride has become a beggar for relief food because of imposed foreign concepts of development.

MAASAI Integrated Community Development Program (MICODO) is a non-profit humanitarian organization, founded in Kajiado District of Kenya in 2006. MICODO was formed with an overall goal of strengthening the capacity of the Maasai community to identify and seize local opportunities to create complete social economic transformation in livelihood change to the Maasai community. The organisation is based on an overall philosophy of upholding human dignity, obedience to the rule of law, integrity and equity in channeling local resources for community empowerment.


History of encounters of Maasai with the 21st century


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