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Maasai Women Take the Livestock Lead

On a cold afternoon, three women are gathering dry grass and feeding it into a hand-operated baling machine.

In no time, a bale of hay emerges and is hefted onto a waiting pile partially covered with plastic sheeting.

The three Maasai women - Mary Nkaru, Susan Tonuo and Charity Kokwai - used to find enough grass for their cattle on their community's big communally owned ranches in southern Kenya.

But communal grazing land in Kajiado County, where they live, is fast vanishing, as a result of sales, division of land and rapid urbanisation, with Kenya's capital, Nairobi, not far away.

Tim Cronin/CIFOR

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