Simanjiro Grazing Easement Project, Ruaha
Critical grazing areas for wildlife are quickly disappearing and the health of Tarangire National Park and the Maasai Steppe is under threat. Every rainy season, with water sources now in abundance, thousands of animals migrate out of the Tarangire National Park boundary and into the surrounding areas, no longer restricted by a need to be close to the Tarangire River, which flows year round.
The grasslands of the Maasai Steppe’s Simanjiro Plains, on the outskirts of the park, are crucial grazing areas for both wildlife and cattle for the local Maasai. Historically, a fine balance was maintained between the grazing needs of the wildlife and the livestock, but over time hunting, farming, population and other pressures have severely diminished the grazing lands and wildlife numbers.
An alarming amount of land has been and is currently being transformed into farms which are marginally productive and often owned by non-village outsiders, with no ‘return’ going to the local Maasai pastoralists. This has resulted in a severe decline in wildlife numbers and an increase in pressures on Maasai livelihoods and cultural values. The easements, voluntary agreements by the villages of Terrat and Sukuro to keep large areas of grassland from being farmed, were an outgrowth of several meetings.
These contractual agreements stipulated land use conditions, e.g. no agriculture or permanent settlement in return for annual fees paid directly into village accounts. We have supported annually ever since.
Your donations will ultimately help improve these practices and make it easier to educate and empower communities and governments to work together to benefit these areas.
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Asilia operates in some of the most spectacular wild places in Africa. Yet they are fragile, under immense pressure, where the needs of both people and wildlife are often juxtaposed.
Empowering both people and places is essential if the habitats, upon which we all depend, are to survive.
We’ve selected a number of reputable and effective local partners as the drivers of these interventions. These partners tackle the issues of education, community upliftment and wildlife conservation in meaningful ways, getting to the source of the problems rather than treating the symptoms.