Africa,one of the planet's most fascinating and still mysterious areas for many of us,has unfortunately suffered a lot since it was discovered and exploited by people from the 'civilised' world.It is true that the white men brought technological progress,built roads and cities and so on,but at the same they brought slavery and death to millions of people.All these things may belong to the past ,now that African states are independent,but it looks like the suffering of many African people is far from over.
One of the best examples of how innocent African people are still at the mercy ofbig corporations and powerful men is that of the Maasai tribe,a group of semi-nomadic people which can be found in Kenya and parts of Tanzania.They have been living in that area for centuries,farming to earn their existence,but they are now threatened to be evicted and relocated because a big hunting corporation is planning to sign a deal that will alow extremely wealthy people from the Middle East to satisfy their pleasure of hunting lions and other wild animals.I've heard about this outrageous situation through an e-mail received from Avaaz,the same organization which does its best to stand up and oppose those who are capable of everything in order to satisfy their greed,without taking into consideration the damage they cause to others and to nature.
As we all know,many tribes around the world were evicted and persecuted by such reckless people and corporations,especially because they wanted to exploit the huge natural resources that could be found in the areas inhabited by those tribes;the Amazon rainforest is probably the best example in this regard.However,in the case of the Maasai people things are even more outrageous,considering the fact that they might be forced to movesimply because some filthy rich people think they can do whatever they want and can only find pleasure by killing big animals.It's obvious that not only the Maasai,but the entire ecosystem of that area is in danger if that corporation's plans succeed and whoever has enough money to come and hunt for pure entertainment,not for necessity,will go there and kill those animals.
However,as in other cases,there are people who have the power to stop this threat into becoming a cruel reality;this time the person to which Avaaz addresses a petition is Tanzanian president Kikwete,which has already stopped an attempt made by the same corporation from kicking the Maasai off the land because of the pressure made by the media.He can do it again,and I think the impressive number of people,including myself,who have already signed the petition in a very short time will hopefully make him take the right decision and protect the Maasai people by not allowing their relocation.
It looks like the battle to prevent those whose greed and appetite for destruction has no limits is an extremely dificult one,but as long as there are people willing to keep on fighting,the battle isn't lost,and in this case the voices of people from all over the world can save the Maasai people preserve their lands and identity.