The MAA communities generally have good customs and cultures, some of which need to be copied by other communities. However, there are some which have caused the MAA society to be marginalized.
The customs and cultures of the MAA are composed from their pastoral style of life. This is the real foundation of those ethics and any intended changes should initially be focused on this paramount foundation.
Development programs for livestock keeping must be planned carefully so that they do not distort or become a burden that the community cannot afford. Neither should such programs be looked upon the community as imposed to them with the aim of disgracing their moral integrity or reducing their status to that of WANDOROBO (Hunters and gatherers).
The old livestock development song that the MAA should own a few but quality type of cattle, cannot work perfectly as long as infrastructure is not available conveniently and at affordable costs.
Advocating to the MAA that they should stop the habit of shifting with their livestock so that the government can provide them with such amenities like schools, hospitals, etc. is actually misleading them, if that advocacy is merely spoken but not practically provided. Even if such amenities are provided fully to them but still their traditional grazing land is haphazardly encroached by farmers, they will still be on the move with their herds.
Tribal or national psyche changes are necessary but if such changes are not made through competent expertise, there is always a danger of skipping away the useful ones and instead include unimportant lots. The MAA psyche is as follows:
The above-mentioned are all necessary and what is needed is to impart them to the other communities nationally and not only to the tribal basis. This process may not be of use if the tribal community cannot recognize the benefits derived from the nation, especially when they will still be on the list of marginalization caused by prevailing development trends.
· The MAA community’s trustworthiness is being exploited by a few non-MAA for their own personal benefits.
· Their frankness leads them into prisons.
· Their affection is obtained dearly if the laws are used corruptibly to oppress them.
· Their bravery should not be valued or limited to merely engaging them as go down watchmen instead of recognizing their traditional bravery as a qualification for them to be absorbed within the military employment like Defense Forces, Police or any other security units. There are well known examples of such actions taken by former governments to employ certain tribes in the defense and security forces who neither knew how to read, write or even understand the national language.
Generally, changes should aim at developing the MAA community in every important aspect, which facilitates the ability to cope with the modern living standards such as:
1) Education: Plans should be created initially to provide education to the children. Such plans should not disrupt the community’s traditional norms of child rearing. This education needs to be of a preparatory emphasis to the youths and not necessarily that of passing examinations – literacy is the first stage. Besides educating the youth, MORANI and others like the aged women also can be provided with this type of education. Such activities need to be carried out in such a manner that enough time is left for the community to deal with their own activities. This type of program has been operated successfully by the pastoralists of Afghanistan and if adopted here, the MAA community will be able to learn the national language – a tool to put them in line with the rest of the communities of the nation.
2) Land: it is essential that the community be assured by the state of owning adequate land for their survival – economically and for the practices traditionally used to pastoralism. Traditionally, the MAA communities are keen environment conservators. They graze their livestock in a traditional system whereby the exhausted land is allowed to generate. However, that land left and kept to regenerate by a community is thought by non-MAA as vacant and then invaded for cultivation. Some MAA communities have managed to stop such encroachment by obtaining private land leases. Village leaders become corruptive ending in the village land being taken away from for other purposes. The government is expected to prepare land use plans but this does not mean that the MAA communities should be assigned specific areas on their own. Nevertheless, anybody living in an area set aside for livestock keeping should be dependant on pastoral economy.
3) Encouragement for revenue and economy growth: For the community to feel that there exists an economic security, it is necessary to encourage them to engage themselves into small scale farming of seasonal crops. Beans, maize, sunflowers, etc. are easy to raise and harvest within a season and thus increase the revenue to the community. Besides the accrued income, the society will learn and appreciate the importance of crop farming – an aspect which is non-existent to them but is the source of conflict between them and the farming communities for so long.
Customs and cultural changes to the MAA community which will bring them closer towards the modern world are those that, if the MAA’s traditional economic system is put to use, will bear surplus benefits via:
· Changes to increase the capacity of their livestock health care
· Changes to raise the capability for their medical care besides their traditional methods of human disease treatment
· Changes that will enable them to have adequate, permanent and safe water easily accessible for them and their livestock