The rigs are headed for the geothermal plant at Hell’s Gate, Kenya, which seems not to benefit the man hauling firewood for cooking on the back of his bike. Hell’s Gate National Park borders a Maasai tribal area. For those familiar with The Last Great Ape, Ofir wandered out of the park as an 18 year old and stayed with the Maasai in perhaps the most important experience he had on the path to becoming an activist. Today, the valley through which he walked is an industrial site. The director of the park, when he complained about the incursion of geothermal drilling onto protected land, was removed by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Sadly, the geothermal wells could have been drilled diagonally from a distance, allowing both the perpetuation of the park and the development of the power source.
As the Dawes Act weakened the tribes in the U.S by parceling out reservation land to individuals, a new law in Kenya is doing the same to the land of the Maasai. Business-minded Kenyans are flooding the savannah, buying up ground that has never before been for sale, and remaking huge swaths of open plains into wheat fields. The photograph is in Narok, the man walking beside the combine a Maasai elder.