Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Britain Will Pay $7 Million to the Masai People of Northern Kenya: Unexploded Bombs Left By British Army Left 500 Injured Or Dead

August 30, 2002

After half of a century of suffering from unexploded munitions left by the British military, a group of nomadic herders in northern Kenya will receive $7 million from the British government.

The British Army has trained for 50 years on grazing land used by the Masai tribe.

An estimated 500 Masai herders from northern Kenya have been killed or seriously injured by ammunitions left on the firing range.

According to the London Guardian, almost all of the deaths and injuries have occurred when children played with unexploded ordnance while herding cattle and goats near the firing ranges.

The settlement was reached after a London-based law firm threatened a major lawsuit against the British government on behalf of over 200 herders.

Yesterday I spoke to James Legei, President of Osiligi, the human rights organization in Kenya which helped the Masai people to win the settlement. The word 'Osiligi' means hope. (Osiligi is also working to return land to the hands of the Masai people, who were dispossessed by British colonists. Currently, James Legei says "foreigners" own roughly 60% of the land in Laikipia province. In the same region, there are some 30,000 Masai people, and only a couple hundred white ranchers.) I asked him for his reaction to the settlement.


  • James Legei, with Osiligi, a Northern Kenyan human rights and development organization working to empower the Masai people. Osiligi is also working to return land to the hands of the Masai people, who were dispossessed by British colonists. E-mail:
  • Martyn Day, human rights lawyer at the British firm, Leigh, Day & Co.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.