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Research Paper | Anthropology Science | Kenya | Volume 4 Issue 12, December 2015
Food Security and Floodplain Irrigation: The Case of Dominion Irrigation Project in Yala Swamp, Siaya County, Kenya
Patriciah I. Owiyo
Abstract: In 2003 the regional government authorities of Siaya District granted a 25-year lease for rice cultivation to Dominion Farms (K) Ltd, a subsidiary of Dominion Group of Companies based in Edmond, Oklahoma, USA. The agreement as approved by the then local authorities of Bondo and Siaya County Councils was that Dominion Irrigation Project would engage in rice production in part of the swamp known as Area I, covering about 2, 300 ha. However, instead of the originally intended rice cultivation in the 2, 300 ha once owned by the Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA), Dominion embarked on other additional agricultural and development activities in the swamp that went beyond rice cultivation. This included construction of water control dykes, weirs, canals, dams as well as an air strip and road. The Project also engaged in a major aquaculture venture which included fish farms, a fish processing and fish mill factories. For this purpose, the Project required more land and so it engaged in compulsory acquisition of extra land and in the process displacing families from their homes and farms. For the wetland community of Yala Swamp this meant the loss of a natural resource that had ensured food security for the households for generations. These activities undertaken by Dominion Farms (K) Ltd elicited mixed reactions with a number of stakeholders voicing various concerns over non-inclusion in the talks, forceful evacuation and inadequate compensation. The more critical cause for concern for this riparian community was however the loss of food security.
Keywords: Dominion Project, Food Security, Yala Swamp
Edition: Volume 4 Issue 12, December 2015,
Pages: 578 - 583
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