Kenyans Protest Against the Unethical Activities of Dominion Farms Ltd sign now

In 2003, an American company, Dominion Farms Ltd was granted a 25 year lease to reclaim the wetlands of Yala Swamp in western Kenya.

Since its very inception, this project and Dominion Farms Ltd has faced grass roots protests and resistance because of Dominion Farms Ltds unethical and unsustainable policies and activities.

Among the key concerns of the local communities are the following:

The project has directly undermined food sovereignty through:

(i)Aerial chemical sprays which have led directly to the loss of food crops like onions, tomatoes, kales (collard greens) and other traditional vegetables;

(ii)These poisonous sprays have also contributed to the loss of poultry and livestock in general and contaminated large areas of grazing land;

(iii)The aerial sprays have contaminated water needed for domestic consumption and contributed to the emergence of health related problems due to air pollution;

All the above have contributed to the lowering of the life expectancy rate within the communities.

The activities of Dominion Farms Ltd caused the closure of roads connecting Siaya and Bondo Districts in Nyanza Province and led to the widespread flooding of private crop lands, private land, grazing fields and roads apart from fencing off river and canal water from being accessed by the local communities.

Dominion Farms Ltd has engaged in illegal and unprocedural mining of murram worth millions of shillings from Nyalula Secondary school and abused services rendered by the Kadenge-Ratuoro Health Centre by offering preferential services to its own staff to the detriment of local residents.

More seriously, Dominion Farms Ltd failed to honour the Community/Investor MOU concerning the use of 300 acres meant to benefit the local communities at the Yala Swamp by annexing the same to its own private corporate use. The MOU had committed Dominion Ltd to take full responsibility for developing the land with the community harvesting 6,000 bags of maize per year.

Dominion Farms Ltd has with cynical impunity, used the provincial administration and the Kenya Police to harass and intimidate locals with numerous cases of trumped up charges and unfair prosecutions targeting in particular any dissenting voices.

Contrary to its disinformation and propaganda in the mainstream media, the presence of Dominion Farms Ltd at Yala Swamp has led to greater food insecurity, deepening poverty levels, more state harassment of innocent civilians and more uncertainty regarding employment and income generation.

For the above reasons, the local Kenyan communities affected by the nefarious activities of the American owned Dominion Farms Ltd at Yala Swamp hereby call on all human rights defenders, environmentalists, food sovereignty advocates, indigenous rights organizations, social movements and opponents of the global neo-liberal agenda to stand in solidarity with us in:

Exposing the unethical and unsustainable activities of Dominion Farms Ltd at Yala Swamp in western Kenya;
Calling for a halt in the intimidation and harassment campaigns against local community by the provincial administration and members of the law enforcement agencies acting at the behest of Dominion Farms Ltd;
Affirming the right of local communities in the Yala Swamp area to determine their own destiny including deciding on their own development agenda, particular charting their own strategies when it comes to food sovereignty, protection of the environment and sustainable employment and income generation;
Demanding that Dominion Farms Ltd and the Kenya government agree to a renewed consultation process with local communities to ascertain grievances and reaffirm the tenets of the original MOU between Dominion Farms Ltd and the local communities.

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