The Emburbul Masai live in the Ngorogoro Conservation Area, where no cultivation is allowed. Not allowed to grow their own food, the women have to go to Karatu to buy maize and other crops to meet their nutritional needs.
Raising cattle is the primary source of income. The cattle are subject to ticks, worms, and drought, making them scrawny and worth less on the market. In 2008, a volcano spewed ash over the area and many cattle died. Since cattle were a primary source of food, the Emburbul people’s diet has been forced to shift to foods such as maize, rice, potatoes and cabbage, which they cannot produce on the land they live on. In addition, some Masai have substantially increased their wealth at the expense of others.
The nursery school at the village has a caved-in roof. There is only one book there. Parents often cannot afford school uniforms. So education falls far below what is available, trapping families in a cycle of poverty.