Maasai’s traditional pastoralist way of life

Though not a significant contributor to Kenya’s formal economy, pastoralism is an important source of livelihood for the Maasai and other tribes such as the Pokot, Samburu and Turkana.

Pastoralists in Kenya feel their way of life is being ignored and marginalised by politicians, who prefer to promote more ‘modern’ livelihoods.

At the same time, many pastoralists acknowledge their preference for large herds is not sustainable in the long term.

Yet when pastoralists look for alternative livelihoods, they often face discrimination, with the majority Kikuyu people dominating the skilled labour market and economic resources.

Photo: © International Alert