Environmental justice for the Maasai community; reclaiming Land and natural resources
Land is man's most valuable resource supporting most basic needs and critical needs of shelter, food and business. Before the advent of colonialism, pastoral communities in Kenya governed their land through the communal land tenure system. The colonial government introduced the English property system replacing it with the communal land tenure system. The Maasai was one of the affected communities. They lost their land to the colonial government through the Anglo Maasai Agreement of 1904 and 1911. This study examines the Anglo Maasai Agreements of 1904 and 1911 during the colonial era and the manner in which it has disadvantaged the Maasai community as a result of land dispossession. It explores the Constitution of Kenya and other key legislations on past historical injustices. The methodology that was adopted was a review of the literature on land policies in Kenya in context of the historical injustices experienced by the Maasai community. The study makes proposals on how best to redress historical injustices by focusing on the National Land Commission that has been given the mandate to initiate investigations on historical injustices and recommend appropriate redress under Article 67(2) (e) of the Constitution of Kenya. Despite there been legislation relating to the redress of historical land injustice, it is inadequate. This research seeks to give proposals and recommendations on how to improve the laws to cater for the protection of the Maasai land rights. The qualitative data was gathered in context of the research objectives; the extent to which the Anglo Maasai agreements were cause of dispossession of land and the extent to which the dispossession in relation to land is a basis for claim for land in redress for the historical injustice under the Constitution of Kenya.