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Tour Itinerary Options
July 28, 2022

The situation in Loliondo remains uncertain and changes to the project team tour itinerary are being made to ensure a safe and secure tour that still provides the insights and sharing of experience opportunities that were intended. Programs at alternative locations with other Maasai communities and partners are being put in place. 

Preparatory Meetings in Elerai
July 26, 2022

Dr. Bruce Downie and Emmanuel Kileli discuss the upcoming tour with Village Council members and elders in Elerai.

Tanzania team members, Bruce Downie and Emmanuel Kileli met with the village council and elders of Elerai as a preparatory visit to the tour. They presented the results of the research of Year 1 of the project and outlined the intended research themes for Year 2. In addition they described the intentions of the upcoming tour along with background to the development of this project and the partners involved. They fielded many questions from the keenly interested group about First Nations in Canada and are very much looking forward to the visit.

Year 2 Mapping Preparations
July 20, 2022

Erik Val, who coordinated the earlier traditional knowledge mapping of land use and occupancy in Enguserosambu, is returning to Tanzania with the project team to lead mapping work on the historical use and management of water resources and the relationship to climate change in the traditional territory of the Maasai of Elerai. If security issues allow he will extend the work to Enguserosambu as well. Preparations for the mapping work, especially the development of base maps for the Elerai area have been underway with the assistance of Brian Lewis who also provided GIS assistance in the earlier mapping effort.

Asset Mapping Data Collection Completed
June 10, 2022

Community meeting in Elerai to learn about the results of the asset mapping research.

Keogh Dooley completed her asset mapping research and held a meeting to share the results with the village. After having been in Elerai for almost 3 months she returned to Canada and will prepare final maps and report on the process and outcomes in the months ahead. She will also be preparing some reflections on her experience which we will post here. We certainly appreciated her work and important contributions to the IKG project.

Land Conflict in Loliondo
June 10, 2022

June 2022

The Maasai of Loliondo division have had 1,500 km2 of village land designated as a Game Management Area where all local use has been eliminated. The area will be the exclusive use as a hunting concession by the Arab owned OBC company. The area, adjacent to Serengeti National Park which was critical for dry season water sources, had been a Game Controlled Area that allowed multiple use. The military was sent in to demarcate the boundaries and move the people out and conflict resulted. The instability of the area impacts our current IKG project. For more details on the situation visit see our newsletters archives: Conflict in Maasailand; and Maasai Update.

Year 2 Research Planning
May 20, 2022

The Tanzania team met in mid May to plan the research for Year 2 of the project. Working with the themes identified at the UVic workshop, the team identified specific approaches and questions that could be used. Additional areas of interest were also raised. The plan will be reviewed in the communities prior to and during the project team tour in August to ensure that the research addresses the needs of the community partners.

University of Victoria Workshop
April 20, 2022

Dr. Bruce Downie presenting at the UVic workshop.

A review workshop was held at UVic. The workshop provided an opportunity for Canadian project partners to get together and review the overall progress of the project and to prepare for the upcoming tour in Tanzania. Background information regarding the work which led up to the current project was presented. Partners organizations also provided insights not their organizations and the related work in which they are currently engaged. Of central importance was the review of the research from Year 1 and the development of themes for the Year 2 research.

Data Analysis Workshop, Arusha, Tanzania
April 1, 2022

Participants at the data analysis workshop in Arusha.

With the research completed, the community researchers from both study areas and the representatives from the Tanzania partner organizations met in Arusha to review all the results of the Year 1 research.  It was an opportunity for the groups from each of the two study areas to come together and compare their results and consider the overall trends in the data. The work was then documented for review by the Canadian team at the subsequent UVic workshop.

Volunteer Researcher, Keogh Dooley, Works in Elerai
March 28 to June 15, 2022

Elerai community members working in the asset mapping focus groups.

Keogh Dooley, a recent graduate of UVic, contacted our Tanzania team with an interest in volunteering. Through discussions it was decided that she would conduct research in Elerai focused on asset mapping. The process involved repeated workshops with focus groups contributing their knowledge to build the data base.

Background Paper and Annotated Bibliography
on the Maasai in Tanzania
February 1, 2022

A background report and literature review on Maasai Well-Being in Tanzania was completed as part of the IKG project and is available on the Kesho Trust website.

Delays in Research Start Up in Enguserosambu
February 15, 2022

Organizational issues in our partner organization in Enguserosambu [EFT], resulted in delays in getting the research program underway. After resolving the issues, the community researchers made an excellent effort to complete the data gathering within a short time in an effort to keep to the planned schedule.

Elerai Conflict
December 27, 2021

Conflict erupted in Elerai over the Christmas period. It has been a longstanding issue of land allocation between the agriculturalists of Kibirashi and the pastoralists of Elerai. The violence was significant. The outbreak caused the final stages of the research program to be put on hold.

Research Progress
December 20, 2021

Progress on the research program went smoothly following the training event and the household survey was completed in Elerai prior to Christmas as planned. Interviews and focus groups were scheduled for the new year.

Data Gathering Activities Underway
November 22, 2021

Following the training event in Arusha, the community researchers returned to their communities and have begun to implement the data gathering according to the schedule developed. While some challenges exist, good progress is being made in the Elerai study area especially.

Community Researcher Training Event in Arusha
November 7 – 14, 2021

The IKG research program in Tanzania is being conduced in two study areas each made up of four villages. Community researchers were identified to work in each of the villages. We are pleased to have the following researchers working with us.

  • Elerai study area: Robert Sakinoi; Yakobo Nduya; Rebeca Moses; and, Rhoda Kashuma

  • Enguserosambu study area: Koisikir Nangiria; Joseph Siloma; Terere Tutayo; and, Anna Shololoi.

All the community researchers gathered in Arusha for a week long training event. They reviewed and confirmed the draft data tools [questions in the household survey, key informant interviews and focus group discussions]. They were trained on how to use the tablets to record responses and submit the data to the server. They also conducted test interviews and used the experience to review and refine questions and research techniques. Finally a schedule for implementing the research activities was confirmed. It was a very productive session.

The IKG is also pleased to have the skills and experience of Emmanuel ole Kileli and Samwel Nangiria to coordinate the work of the community researchers. They led the training workshop and will be supervising the activity in the field. The intention is for the group to gather again to review the results of the research when the data gathering is complete – hopefully early January.

Introductory Meetings Held in Enguserosambu
October 26, 2021

Emmanuel ole Kileli and Julius Daniel traveled to Enguserosambu to meet up with Samwel Nangiria and together the project team held a series of meetings in the area with the EFT, the Ward Development Council,  the community researchers and other individuals. The purpose was to familiarize everyone with the IKG project and specifically the upcoming research activity that would be taking place within the villages. There were extensive and fruitful discussions and the EFT board were pleased to be involved and keen to play a role in the implementation of the project.

Tanzania Masters Degree Candidate Announced
October 19, 2021

Julius Daniel working with Elders in Enguserosambu
on the traditional mapping project.

The IKG designated funding to support academic research in Tanzania during the project and considered a number of possible avenues for delivering such support. A decision has been reached to support Julius Daniel in the furthering of his academic career and he has subsequently been accepted to study for a Masters Degree at the University of Dar es Salaam. Julius is a Maasai from Elerai. He has been an active volunteer with the Kesho Trust for a number of years and within the IKG is a coordinator with EMAYO. Most recently he served as the Field Coordinator for the indigenous knowledge mapping project in Enguserosambu led by Erik Val [see final report]. In part, as a result of his experience there he is keen to pursue training in GIS. His courses begin in November but he will also continue to support the IKG project during the course of his studies.

IKG Introductory Community Meeting Held in Elerai
September 20, 2021

Participants at the Elerai Village meeting.

IKG project staff held an introductory meeting with Elerai community representatives on September 20, 2021, at the Elerai village office conference room. The meeting was presided over by Matanda Palesio, Village Chairperson, along with Mariamu S. Selemani, Village Executive Officer (VEO). After the introduction of the village council members, the chairperson welcomed Mr. Simon Ngushani and other members from the traditional leadership. A total of 19 participants attended including village leaders, women’s group representatives and the community traditional leaders.

Following introductions of all attending including IKG project representatives, Emmanuel briefly explained the IKG project – its history [including the traditional mapping project conducted at the Enguserosambu Ward in Loliondo], objectives, timeline, partner organizations and individuals in the project. Julius then addressed the specific upcoming research activities, explaining the objectives of the research and the importance of gathering in-depth local knowledge in the process. He also acknowledged the local researchers who would be conducting the interviews and survey in the villages.

Further discussion focused on the benefits of the project and the research to the Elerai indigenous community and its impact on issues in their daily lives brought about by the climate crisis, the loss of their traditional lands, and many other influences.

It was a productive and beneficial meeting, gaining approval from the village and community organizations along with the promise of their full support. Subsequently IKG project staff also met with representatives from the Kilindi District office with a similarly positive reception and a letter of support from Mbonea Mfinanga, the District Executive Director.

Women’s group representatives at the Elerai meeting.

Community Researchers Confirmed in Elerai
September 21, 2021

In conjunction with the community meetings, IKG project staff met with four community researcher candidates and confirmed their participation in the upcoming research activities. The four researchers and the villages they represent are: Yakobo Nduya [m], Mkondoa village; Kambei Kileli [m], Elerai village; Nakuyeti Daniel [f], Ndumaro village; and, Kanambey Kashuma [f], Lolparakwo village.

Masters Student Selected
August 6, 2021

Katelynne Herchak has been selected as the student to enter the Masters program at UVic that is funded under our IKG project. She will begin her studies in September and will undertake her field research in Tanzania in 2022. We welcome Kate to the team and wish her every success in her studies. Follow this link for information about Kate.

Research Grant Available for Tanzanian Students
July 13, 2021

Are you currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution in Tanzania and looking for some support for your field research? Are you working in the area of land and water management and governance of natural resources within Maasai communities? Would you be interested in joining our project activities? If so, we would like to hear from you. We are interested in finding keen and capable students who have research interests that align with our project goals. Depending on the financial needs for research acitvities of individual students it may be possible to support more than one student. Please review this information bulletin (Tanzania Field Research Support) and contact us.

Funded MA Position Available at UVic
June 24, 2021

Interested in joining our recently funded SSHRC partnership project ‘Indigenous Knowledge Bridging of Land and Water Governance in Tanzania and Canada?  Or know someone who might be?  We have a two year funded position for the appropriate candidate looking to do a Masters degree based on research with the Maasai in Tanzania.  Check this link (MA UVic) to see details of this excellent opportunity …. but do it soon.  Applications are invited before July 10 and the program starts in September, 2021.

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