Title

The Evictions at Nyamuma: Struggles over Land and the Limits of Human Rights Advocacy in Tanzania

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2010

Source Publication

L. White and Jeremy Perelman eds. Stones of Hope: How African Activists Reclaim Human Rights to Challenge Global Poverty, (Stanford University Press)

Abstract

The event which gave rise to the inquiry in this paper occurred in a village known as Remaining Nyamuma which was located on the border of the Ikorongo Game Reserve, immediately adjacent to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Sometime in October of 2001, district officials informed the villagers by loudspeaker that they must leave the area and return to their original villages within four days. Two days after the notice period had ended, the District Commissioner himself set fire to a house belonging to one of the villagers, initiating a violent eviction of the villagers by the burning of their houses and fields. In the course of the evictions, 132 households were displaced; villagers were injured; livestock were killed; and families were scattered in the process. No alternative land or housing was allocated to those evicted. Indeed, officials subverted their efforts to finding housing elsewhere by encouraging neighboring villagers to report their presence to District authorities. Evicted villagers were harassed by officials and prevented from conducting business, effectively becoming internally displaced people.

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