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Mining and Migration in Kenya Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Erick Ochieng Otieno, Kenya Dec 20, 2006
Environment , Human Rights   Opinions


All over the world, people associate migration wit aftermaths of war, famine, and other related problems. However, here in Kenya a group of certain communities are bound to face forced migration from the hands of the government that is supposed to help them. This is the coastal community in Kwale whose lands are supposed to be bought by the government in order to pave way for the mining of titanium by a Canadian company.
What is worrisome is not the issue of buying the farm but rather, how it is done. The question that most of the locals ask is whether the government has a right to force them to sell their land. They argue that they deserve to get proper compensation to let them get land elsewhere. The government, however, is adamant that they sell their land.
Through a court ruling recently, it was ruled that the government indeed has a right to buy the land for a price which the locals do not agree with. This again raises one question, "Where will these people go to after they are evicted?"
It is common knowledge that most citizens in Kenya lose land at a fast rate due to many land developers and the result is settlement on such important areas like the forests. The net effect is that a lot of areas that are supposed to be protected are settled upon. This can be seen often when, after selling their lands voluntarily to many rich developers opted to buy land cheaply from forests and wetlands such as the Mau forest which is a major water reservoir. We are now asking ourselves this question, “Should the need for economic gain override the fundamental rights of individual citizens to own and maintain land and sell it only when they wish?”



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Erick Ochieng Otieno

I was a student from Egerton University. I pursued a course leading to a BSc in Applied Aquatic Sciences. I believe that through writing, one can relieve a lot from the heart. Inspiration came from hearing and reading. Whoever said that you have to be an old one to communicate issues of policies, did not consider that even a newborn communicates through its own way, "crying". I would like to communicate to the world all my thoughts; However minor they are, I believe they will go a great length to straighten or strengthen a policy or two somewhere and I shall have contributed to the well being of the world. How noble that is, it is for my worthy readers to let me know. So what do you think? Tell me anytime. Bye and have a nice reading.
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