It was a great 3-day learning experience for Kenyan delegates drawn from PARAN Alliance, its founding member organizations and IMPACT Trust.The main objective of the exchange visit was to experience and get to understand how Indigenous people’s organisations work and also learn how pastoralist communities cope with climate change and natural resource-based conflict with the view to initiate cross border collaboration in Northern Tanzania.
On the first day the Team had an opportunity to meet with over 50 community members (women & men) and traditional leaders from Terrat village,representatives from Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT) and government officials.The team was made to understand how UCRT works with different pastoralist groups such like Maasai, Barbaek,Sonjo and Hadzabe-The hunters & gatherers.The Project Manager (UCRT) Mr. Edward further explained and advised on the land tenure system in Tanzania and specifically in Terrat,Simanjiro village.
Mr. Edward explained the three categories of land tenure systems in Tanzania which include; village land, general and protected lands.Natural resources such as land in Tanzania are governed using by-laws.Village land governance is led by village general assembly.The team was further made to understand how Terrat community copy with climate change risks and hazards experienced in community lands and conservation areas. It was great for the team to learn the collaborative arrangement between the communities, government, investors and more so conservation agencies towards strengthening community resilience through land use and access to natural resources and other benefits from conservation.
It was exciting and interesting to learn from Pastoralists Women Council (PWC) team at the heart of their offices in Arusha. The team led by Project Officer (PWC) Mr.Timothy and Mrs. Stella explained and discussed on the three key focus areas for PWC’s programmes that included; Education,Economic Empowerment,Rights & Leadership to address the root causes of gender inequality and oppression.Mrs. Stella further explained PWC’s economic empowerment program-which she said was aimed at addressing gender inequality,poverty and marginalization of pastoralists women by enabling them to become self-reliant and take control of their own development through solidarity, collective and individual income generating activities.”Through economic empowerment support, Maasai women are becoming financially secure and contributing to their families’ well-being and access to important social services such as education and healthcare” said Stella.Currently PWC is supporting women solidarity bomas, income generating groups and water projects under the Economic Empowerment Programme.
The Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT) led by Mr. Makko shared and made the Kenyan delegate to understand about community capacity building and the concept of training village assemblies on land laws, local government reform programmes, government laws and policies.The UCRT team also shared and explained their Participatory Land Use Planning (PLUP) process. Mr. Makko explained that when communities are empowered and capacity built they are able to manage their lands, resolve conflicts, enter into beneficial economic arrangements with investors, and make wise decisions regarding their natural resources.The Kenyan delegates also had an opportunity to engage with Tanzanian based CSOs whose representatives were drawn from PINGO’s Forum, Ujamaa Community Resource Team, Tanzania Natural Resource Forum, Pastoral Women’s Council and Cords Tanzania among other CSOs working in Northern Tanzania. The representatives shared on their best practices pertaining to Land and natural resource management & uses and peaceful integration of pastoralism across the East African region.
The delegates on their last day visited East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) where they had an appointment meeting with Kenyan EALA members both Hon. Fatuma Ali and Hon. Aden Omar.The two EALA members urged the team to accelerate and work with the relevant committees and utilize opportunities that exist in an attempt to engage the East African Community (EAC) and rally members to bring bills, reach out to interact with the various committees and file cases at the EAC for justice. Hon. Fatuma mentioned that when the process of petitioning is understood then grazing issues at a regional level can be addressed and therefore, this will allow pastoralist transhumance mobility.They also advised on integral issues of pastoral migrations within borders, natural resource management and peaceful coexistence among pastoral communities in the region.Hon. Aden mentioned that EALA is keen on issues of land tenure and indigenous people and he further advised the team to engage and learn more about the EAC. “The Regional Assembly is ready to consolidate the voices of pastoral communities both men and women,as a community across the East African region.We are open and we will take initiative.” Hon. Fatuma emphasized.
Many Thanks to Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF) for the support and continued partnership.