World Bulletin / News Desk
They were driven from their pastures by security forces in a government policy aimed at securing the Loliondo Game Controlled Area next to the Serengeti National Park.
The government is seeking to force Maasai pastoralists off the land to preserve water supplies and resources for wild game, which is hunted by wealthy foreign tourists.
According to the Ortello Business Corporation, a Dubai-based company that was granted exclusive hunting rights in the 1,500 square kilometer (580 square mile) corridor in 1992, human settlement and cattle grazing has reduced the numbers of wild game.
“The situation has been compounded by the impact of climate change… which has seen the drying up of water resources and diminishing flora and fauna in an otherwise semi-arid terrain,” a report released by the company in November 2016 said.
Ortello’s arrival has seen the Maasai, who have used the area for dry season grazing for centuries, forced away from the land.
“They came around dawn and started burning our huts, we had to flee to save our lives,” Rotiken said.
The 39-year-old herder is among many Maasai in the northern Ngorongoro district who are without shelter after their homes were razed to the ground to protect the corridor for hunters flown in by Ortello.