The "Development Projects" by Dominion in Yala Swamp, Western Kenya...

I do not want to offer my opinion, but you be the judge of all of this:

Excerpts from the above link:

Other plans included rehabilitation of the 7.5 Km dyke downstream of the weir and extending it by 3-4 Km to reclaim part of the 4,600 ha classified as area II, rehabilitation of the Lake Kanyaboli Feeder canal and rehabilitation of the Lake Kanyaboli retention dyke. According to Dominion’s grand plan, the firm will also establish irrigation infrastructure, improve crop production and construct a spillway from Lake Kanyaboli. It would also complete the diversion of River Hwiro and its attendant civil works, including dyke construction.

[I]The work, divided into three phases, will be completed in ten years and the swamp would produce cereal crops like rice, maize, soybean, sunflower, fisheries, cotton, soybean, paddy rice, artemisia, onions and vegetables. There will also be an improvement of beekeeping and honey production. The main crop, however, will be irrigated rice. Opondo says among other things, the MOU signed between the company and the county councils included various social responsibilities towards the local communities of both Districts. These, according to her, include the initial clearing and ploughing of 150 acres of land within the boundaries of each of the councils for local community use, rehabilitation of at two public primary schools each in Siaya and Bondo, and rehabilitation of at least two public health facilities for each of the councils.

Then there’s this further down in the same article:

“The main economic activity of the residents of Kadenge and Seje used to be cattle rearing, which was supported by the undisturbed swamp. There existed proper grazing fields and water points for the cattle. When the investor came, he promised to set aside land for grazing purposes and to dig dams, drill boreholes for water purposes. None of the above projects has been done, and our cattle are declining in number. Cows are out our only source of wealth. They further argue that the construction of a causeway across lake kanyaboli has divided the lake into two, and that the investor has gone ahead to illegally possess the lower part of the lake, which connects it to other water bodies like Lake Namboyo and Lake Victoria.

This, they say, has led to a decline in the number of fish on the side of the lake preserved for the locals. The water level on the other side of the lake has dropped. The investor, they claim, was only allowed to use the swamp, and not the lake. On socio corporate responsibility, the locals argue that the investor has not kept the promises to improve infrastructure and there nothing to write home about the much hyped concept of technology transfer to the locals. “So far, infrastructure in the schools within the catchment area of the swamp remain in pathetic condition, and nothing significant has been done in the hospital. The firm’s socio-corporate responsibility report card is still reading zero,” they say. Dominion has also been accused of spraying dangerous chemicals over its crops using aeroplanes, even in daylight. This, the locals argue, exposes locals, farm workers their crops and wildlife alike to serious health and environmental dangers. They further accuse Dominion of encroaching on private land, initially registered as Land parcel No. 899. This land, they claim, was properly demarcated and sub divided to the members of the community and each member has a separate parcel plot.

And Another one:

“The truth is being smothered with such abandon this issue invites more questions than answers, says Owalla. At the height of the controversy, both Ujamaa and Nyanza Social Forum visited the farm with a group from Central America and spent two days with the communities of Yimbo and Alego. They concluded that Dominion must reassess its approach and involve the locals even more to harness their support. “Yala swamp is a shared wetland resource between Busia, Bondo and Siaya districts, and is by and large the property of the larger East Africa. It is also a buffer zone between the land and the lake,” says Owalla.

“It is here that the lost species of Lake Victoria are still found, and therefore, it is important for the entire region’s ecosystem” he says. Yala swamp covers approximately 17,500 and has always been targeted for reclamation since Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners made their first proposal in their study, Kenya Nile Basin Water Resources in 1954-6. Three phases of reclamation and development were identified, the first of which was completed after 2,300 ha. had been reclaimed.

The second phase was started soon after, but work stopped in 1970 due to lack of funds. By then only 7km of a diversion canal of the Yala River had been constructed and the Lake Kanyaboli retention dyke and a feeder canal had also been put up. The organisations argue that the Dominion project, because of its application of fertilizers, pesticides and invasive species, is bound to release harmful effluent onto the environment. They argue that the possible impact of effluent from proposed fish factories, noise and pungent smell and waste discharge from various machinery has not been properly addressed. Further, the groups charge that shrines, cultural sites and spiritual spots have already been shovelled aside to pave way for development without considering the people’s interests. Though Dominion has promised to put and/or upgrade health facilities within the two districts of Bono and Siaya, the groups argue, the Environmental Impact assesment undertaken by Dominion farms so far does not address the emergent health issues associated with population growth.

The report is also silent on water-borne diseases associated with rice growing and the creation of vast water reservoirs like malaria and typhoid. Both Ujamaa and Nyanza Social Forum argue that in the long term, the effects of the projects will adversely affect food security, education standards, and the general development of the community and will compromise the people potential to achieve the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development goals. They further claim the project will cause what they call ‘unpredictable ecological hazards.’ Some of these include the negative effects on the three lakes Kanyaboli, Sare and Nyamboyo. “Papyrus, the swamp’s most dominant plant, will disappear, the fate of the rare sitatunga buck and the goloneck, a rare bird, will be sealed forever. The filtering effect of the swamp of pollutants from Yala River before water is discharged to the lake will be lost. The breeding and nursery grounds for fish and birds will go. Rare fish species like mbiru, fulu, kamongo, okoko, nyamami, ningu, fwani, adel and ngege which are currently found in these three lakes will all disappear.” These complaints are not novel, however. As far back as the 1960s, when Dominion’s precursor, the Lake Basin Development Authority set foot in the murky waters of the swamp, ecologists and local leaders were already sharply divided over the rehabilitation proposal.

From the comments:
[U]toiyoi[/U] says:
[U] December 27, 2006 at 7:37 pm[/U]
Always wondered: how do the local people benefit? I hear people say that there are nwo oranges to be found in siaya town, but, are they free? Is that all? We all know, that with the use of agro-chemicals, pesticides, etc for crops, the environment is being affected. Is whatever the people are getting in return worth the risk their lives are being subjected to? And with their limited incomes, how ready are they to deal with the health problems that bound to arise?

I wish you could be answering/troubleshooting based on such items( of course be careful for your own life, since pple can go to any lengths to maintain their wealth)

owalla chris says:
[U] March 22, 2007 at 10:58 am[/U]
The Yala swamp project is stinking and the community members are suffering because they are being forced out of there ancestral land.Also there is high level of corruption,leaders are being bribed and here leaders include,church leaders,politicians and even provincial adminstration.

Miriam cain says:
[U] February 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm[/U]
This case of Yala swamp need to be out of this net onto Televisions and on the Radios a round the world, Kenya is not a poor country its being made poor by greedy basturds. I was born there in kadenge raised and educated up to university eating well balanced diet from the firm when my parents had the right to firm it with simple tools. Not tructures, Today it has been turned into a death Zone, by the so called Dominion project, better life for the people of Kenya, when in the fact they mean turning the land into damping yard for chemicals or bilogical weapons of mass destruction. Believe me, if the government is afraid to say that they highered An American Company to slay his people to help reduce population in Keny becuase malaria and other diseases are not doing the job quick enough for the rich in Kenya. Let me say this in tears. Dominion walked into Yala swamp with A MASSETTI (aPANGA), hE HAS SLAIN MY PEOPLE I WANT HIM OUT. This company has only come to our one purpose, biological warfare, on the Kenyan people.

A Second Article from a Different Website:

[SIZE=6] Obama’s Ruined Homeland[/SIZE]
[SIZE=5]In Kenya’s Yala Swamp, where Senator Barack Obama traces his African roots, an Oklahoma-based company has wrecked a rich and delicate ecosystem.
By [U]Laura Flanders[/U][U]Twitter[/U][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]January 31, 2007 [/SIZE]

If you think Obama-mania is out of control in the United States, you should get a hit of it in Kenya. When US Senator Barack Obama announced he was considering a presidential bid, it was front-page news in the East African nation where his father was born. Taxi drivers love to ask Americans what they’d think of having their first Kenyan President. One Nairobi-based safari company even operates tours to the Senator’s ancestral village, complete with “evening tea and a photograph with [Obama’s] grandmother.”

Some Kenyans wish the attention to the place where Obama claims his roots would translate into a new dose of concern about the people who currently live there. Dorothy Owiti hails from the same part of the country as Obama’s father: Siaya province, on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria. While the Senator’s ancestral home is becoming a tourist attraction, Owiti’s lies submerged beneath floodwaters, thanks to the operations of a US company. This January, Owiti and several of her neighbors attended the [U]World Social Forum[/U] in Nairobi with a message for the Senator.

“I would like to tell Barack Obama that somewhere down here in his homeland, we are really suffering,” she told RadioNation. “If he has us at heart, let him do something. Tell the president of Dominion Farms to stop destroying our lives in Africa.”

Dominion Farms, an affiliate of [U]Dominion Group[/U], based in Oklahoma, moved into Siaya in 2003 through an arrangement with the local and state authorities. After several years of negotiations, Dominion CEO Calvin Burgess leased public land from the government on a pledge to develop a high-tech fish and rice farming operation that he promised would bring jobs, reduce hunger and make Siaya and neighboring Bondo provinces the “breadbasket” of Kenya. (In the United States, Dominion builds for-profit prisons and federal buildings.)

Until Dominion came along, the people of this part of Kenya made their living drawing water from the local Yala River. They raised goats and cows and farmed small plots of land. Widows and children harvested papyrus and sisal from the nearby swamp from which they crafted rough mats and baskets. A major habitat for endangered fish and birds, the Yala Swamp is recognized by environmentalists as one of the richest and most delicate ecosystems in East Africa. The half-million or so local residents weren’t rich but they were self-sufficient, says Owiti. Now they’re forced to live on the generosity of churches or on the corporation’s handouts.

“Development should not bring harm to the local community,” said Owiti at the World Social Forum. But that, she says, is just what has happened. In the last four years, Dominion Farms has built a dam on the Yala River, drained much of the swamp, subjected the fields to aerial spraying and drowned not only public land but, residents claim, private property without legal authority.

Dominion offered residents compensation to leave their homes (generally 45,000 Kenyan shillings, approximately $64). Many, like Salome, a local grandmother, refused, but their land was submerged anyway. “I grew cabbages, I made mats, I planted maize and millet. Now all my fields are flooded,” said Salome.

For those that remain, the company’s dam blocks access to the river, the one available source of fresh water. “Now they want us to use standing water,” explained Paul Obeira, another Yala Swamp resident. But with the standing water comes infection. Malaria and typhoid rates are rising. Now aerial spraying is killing livestock. “I have lost 110 goats and our women are suffering from health problems because of the spraying,” added Obeira. Dominion Farms has applied for a permit to spray the pesticide DDT, which has been banned in this part of the world because of its negative health consequences.

Begun as a counterpoint to the elite World Economic Forum, which is held each year in Davos, Switzerland, the World Social Forum casts itself as a meeting place for those on the receiving end of the kind of trade and development policy promoted at Davos. Peter Kimani, a correspondent for Kenya’s Daily Nation, sees in the Yala Swamp story a classic example of problems the Social Forum tries to spotlight. “Here is a world multinational impoverishing local people in the name of development,” said Kimani last week.

Some call it recolonization by corporations. In Siaya, the managers at Dominion Farms erected a massive thirty-foot cross over their compound. According to Kimani and several Yala Swamp residents, the company threatens residents that opposition to the project constitutes opposition to God’s will. Some say they’ve been threatened with crucifixion. “It’s a classical colonial strategy to use the cross to hoodwink the people,” says Cecil Agutu, organizer of a residents’ support group, [U]Friends of Yala Swamp[/U]. “At least [under colonial rule] we could see the British. Right now we have one American who flies in and out on a private plane. We can’t even see him and yet he controls our resources.”

Next time he visits Kenya, Obama could pay Calvin Burgess a visit. Swamp residents have help from groups like [U]Action Aid International[/U] (based in Britain) and the Boulder, Colorado-based [U]Global Response[/U] organization. But they are up against some powerful players. Dominion Farms is part of the multinational Kenya National Council, launched by the World Economic Forum last year. Council members include Unilever, Coca Cola, Monsanto, the Kenyan phone company Safaricom and the National Oil Corporation of Kenya.

“It’s forty-four years since Kenyans won independence. Now they’re fighting for self determination again,” said Paula Palmer of Global Response. A helping hand from Siaya’s most famous child could make all the difference.

*Walks away [/I]

This must be Gretsa university, where Pablo is an alumnus.


Still…was a bribe sought, or not?. That is the question.


Dominion has brought this to themselves. Unsustainable practices

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This story is so big. how many people have eaten from this filthy American?

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the malpractices of dominion were a non-issue until they yelped …


Nilikua namtegea hapo.
Dominion did not appear in Yala in an overnight like a mushroom. It was established. So all this other hekayas are side shows. Hongo, or no Hongo. Period


A little digging appears to confirm the allegations against Dominion Farms could be true.

But extortion will not solve these problems, let’s assume Burgess funds Raila’s campaign, who then will fight for the locals?

We have courts to address these kinds of issues, local leaders should sue the farm for grabbing land, ideally the Opposition would have organized protests against Dominion farms. They would also have pushed the government through the Ministry of Environment to look into the environmental destruction allegations, exposing dominion through the media would have caused public outcry of epic proportions, instead the opposition chooses to receive campaign funding rather than fight for the locals. Politicians aint loyal.


Dominion ni safi kama Babuon ambaye ni safi kama pamba.


If Dominion Development have evidence, let them come out with it. Wawache vitisho, na kama Raila alikula hongo asijifanye safi kama pamba.



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Say no more. Leo JaKuon amepewa shughuli, nao maJaKuonist wa Ktalk wamefungua branch ya NEMA, KRA, CID, NLC na MoH hapa overnight. No one had ever mentioned Yala here until the shiny, dark goD was exposed.

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Kwani aliweka mlima


As if we expected babuon’s online army to take the bribery accusations lying down.
No, tell us something we didn’t anticipate.


Don’t I just like this circus.

What do you think?

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isn’t kenya a land of circuses?

Yea. Kwanza in one game called shifting positions this styro:


Hehehehe, I…


Raila mwisi na ni jambazi


Babuon should thank his lucky stars he’s in Kenya, otherwise if he was in US, he would be picking countless pieces of soap somewhere for the things he’s alleged to have done…you know, extortion, corruption, coups, jijazie hizo zingine.

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