As a professional educator in holistic management I am working with Dalmas and his community to help them transition and develop a regenerative form of pastoralism that will help them reverse the desertification of their grasslands and allow them to stay on their land.
I am mad about adventure and wild spaces. I use my traditional building and project management skills to create innovative uses for redundant heritage buildings and create new structures with natural materials. I love nothing more than to introduce people to natural spaces in ways that push their boundaries, so they too can help us look after this amazing planet.
Who are we
We are working with Dalmas and his community to bring about a liberated, independent and prosperous Maasai society. One of the core resilience measures we are working on is the use of ‘holistic planned grazing’ which has been shown to regenerate grasslands that are turning into desert.
Dalmas has given up his job to help implement this project and he urgently needs our help. He has mobilised the community who are willing to adopt a different grazing strategy and we hope to see a slow shift towards an improved water cycle.
We hope to train Maasai men and in the importance of wildlife for creating a resilient future environment and help them develop businesses associated with their healthy land, livestock, flora and fauna.
90% of their animals died in a drought, climate change is a real threat and this community desperately needs help before disaster strikes again. It’s difficult for us feel the pain of watching our family and friends hungry, thirsty and dying but unfortunately that was the reality for Dalmas and his community...
Why do they need our help?
Dalmas practised his traditional rites as a Maasai young man and went to a local rural primary school before continuing to Moi University to complete Bachelors and Masters Degrees. Dalmas left his employment and returned to be a Maasai herder. He took a bank loan and managed to accumulate enough money to build a herd of 127 cows. The community were so happy that Dalmas came home and invested in the village. He became a role model for the children.
But after several dry years the ultimate disaster struck, the drought became so severe that everything changed. The watering holes, rivers and wells dried up and the animals – the main source of nutrition for the Maasai – started to die. Eventually, 90% of all the livestock belonging to the community died; Dalmas was left with only 14 cows. It was devastating to watch after putting in so much hard work to buy the cows.
Dalmas remembers: ‘my community were reduced to beggars who depended on food relief to survive, this food was poor quality and a very different from what we were used to so made us sick. I saw children die of malnutrition and lack of water and old people dying of starvation.’
‘People started coming to me for help, I had a little money so helped buy food, but food was being sold expensively by exploitative businesses who hoarded it to raise demand to increase their profits.’
Even though Dalmas lost his livestock along with it his dream, he has vowed to help his people protect themselves from future droughts that a changing climate will inevitably strike.
We are working with Dalmas and his community to bring about a liberated, independent and prosperous Maasai society. One of the core resilience measures we are working on is the use of ‘holistic planned grazing’ which has been shown to regenerate grasslands that are turning into desert, but we need your help to make this a reality.
How can we
We can help the Maasai move into a regenerative pastoralist system and teach holistic management to help them adjust to a new way of living. By encouraging communities to pool cattle and organise their resources holistically, communities can preserve many of their traditional ways, secure food, water and create new sources of income.
Regenerative pastoralism can rebuild healthy grassland ecosystems which creates the habitat required for the wildlife to return. Healthy grasslands sequesters tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and are an important part of tackling climate change.
We need your
We want to employ two herders who will implement the project with Dalmas by their side. We need to provide their tools and education to make this a lasting success.
Would you be willing to make a small donation to help us?
The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands. The Maasai occupy a total land area of 160,000 square kilometres with an estimated population of 841,622 people. Dalmas is from the Kajiado County in Kenya.
The Maasai, are pastoralists which mean they graze animals for both income and food. Their grasslands have long supported a semi-nomadic lifestyle that provides a healthy diet of meat, milk, herbal soup, some honey and occasionally fresh blood – the perfect ‘primal diet,’ This nutrient dense high protein diet has produced some of the world’s finest human physical specimens.
Maasai people are renowned for being very tall and muscular, practically disease free and definitely win the prize for biggest warm smile full of perfect pearly teeth!
The traditional Maasai sense of community is incredibly strong, is well organised and functions effectively. The women are responsible for the homes – simple ‘kraals’ of mud, sticks, grass and dung arranged in a circle surrounded by protective thorns – collecting water and milking livestock.
The men offer protection and security as warriors or wisdom and organisational structure as elders. Boys are traditionally responsible for herding the cattle, sheep and goats with the help of the warriors when droughts of trouble take them further afield or if families decide to send the boys to school.
Dalmas says: ‘The leader of each age set is selected by elders who scrutinise family background and genealogy to see whether the potential candidates’ families are people who love peace and justice and show qualities of braveness.’
More about our work with the
In the short term there are areas of land that have become so desertified they need urgent remedial action. To do this we need a small herd of cattle and to employ two herdsmen to attend to them day and night. When land becomes capped, dry and hard the best way to prepare the soil so that the water will soak in, is to pen a small herd of cattle known as a kraal over the hard land for several nights running.
The herders graze their cattle during the day and then return the cows to the kraal to trample, dung and urinate in the small area. This ‘preparation’ is ideal for when the rain arrives and the cocktail of seeds, nutrients and softened soil allows this piece of land to burst into life. The kraal we be moved every few days to provide ‘treatment’ to a new hardened piece of desertified grassland.
Not only will regenerating the grasslands of Kenya help provide food and water security for the Maasai, but the carbon captured in the process of building soil and biodiversity will reduce the atmospheric Greenhouse gases for the rest of the world. Allowing communities to stay on their land keeps the pressure of global food production and helps to prevent more people becoming climate migrants.
As farmers and consumers, we all have a part to play in the climate change that is destroying the lives of these people and will eventually destroy our lives too if we don’t act soon.
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