The Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania have a long tradition of living in harmony with nature. However, for the past century they have also seen their land and way of life targetted by encroaching intiatives related to nation-building, development, tourism, mining, etc. As a new decade begins the Maasai are once again being pushed off their lands and told their way of life must end in the name of “progress” or “development”. Today on the podcast, we hear from three members of that community who explain their way of life and the reality they face on the ground today. It’s the story of the Maasai and their struggle to survive.
There is a force referred to as development that has arrived in Northern Kenya. It brings highways, wind farms, pipelines, cables, standardized education, and new towns where the government wants people to live and work. What it also brings is pollution, inequality, disappearing cultures and languages, an end to nomadic lifestyles that have existed for hundreds of years. While all this is happening, extreme weather has also arrived, taking people who have long known how to live in balance with the environment and thrusting them into the uncertainty and destruction climate change leaves in its wake.
The South of Mumbai podcast series rambled into the busy and bustling city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, where we were immediately emersed in the topic of mobility. On one particular afternoon we went to visit Manikandan at his office where he told us about the history of Coimbatore, the impact of growth and the strong tradition of manufacturing. The centerpiece of our conversation, a project close to his heart – the Spero E-Bike. Listen in as we talk history, mobility, awareness, sustainability, industrial hemp and yes.. bicycles!
In the final and perhaps odd chapter of the middle east- north Africa journey, I ventured home to the state of my birth, to see my family, friends, and continue editing audio from the trip. Naturally, being back in that part of the world only…