When Dominion Farms Ltd pulled out from the Yala Swamp, residents hoped to get their lands and water back. But the lands were signed over to a bank that then transferred it to a sugar cane plantation company on a 99 year lease.
Despite objections by numerous community organisations and representatives, Siaya Kenya's National Land Commission will provide Lake Agro Ltd 17,250 acres of land at the Yala Swamp for agricultural use in a 66 years lease agreement.
Villagers say trouble began when a new investor, Lake Agro Limited, entered an agreement with an American investor, Dominion Farms Limited, to take over the swamp for the remaining lease period.
Companies from countries across the world have acquired fertile Nile-irrigated land for growing food crops, non-food agricultural commodities such as alfalfa, flowers, tobacco, and biofuels, rearing livestock and logging trees.
- Pulitzer Center
01 Feb 2020
Yala swamp in Siaya County whose recently announced takeover has ran into fresh controversy after Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi issued new conditions to the new investor.
Residents of Yala swamp, in Kenya, have begun the process of registering the land to ward off cartels seeking to benefit from the process after the departure of Dominion Farms
Plans are underway to ensure the family gets a portion of Yala Swamp land - 3,700 hectares - to develop sugarcane.
The Siaya county government has given the green light for a new investor -- Lake Agro Limited, a subsidiary of the Rai Group of Companies -- to move into Yala swamp and takeover existing farms.
Siaya county government has not surrendered the Yala swamp to a private sugar milling company as alleged by a section of the media, the county director of communications, Jerry Ochieng has said.
The birds are said to have migrated from Dominion Farms in the neighbouring Siaya County after the proprietor shifted from rice to sugarcane farming.
The once multibillion-shilling Dominion Farms in Siaya is being auctioned to pay a supplier Sh27.6 million.
The department of lands in Siaya County has recommended that a portion of the contested Yala swamp lands currently occupied by US-based Dominion Farms be set aside for the community.