|Photo via www.facebook.com/pages/Kenweb|
In a significant victory for community land rights, the Kenyan High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi has ruled that all land use plans for the Tana River Delta must be developed with the full participation of local communities. The Court also ordered that the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority must share current short and long term land use plans and that plans will be periodically reviewed. The ruling is a major triumph as tens of thousands of hectares of multi-use floodplain would have been converted for sugar cane production under the current plan and many residents of the Delta were to be removed.
The case was brought by representatives of farmers, fishermen, pastoralists and conservation groups in the Tana River Delta and sought to halt large-scale commercial developments in the Tana River Delta until a master plan was developed. They were supported by the Kenya Wetlands Biodiversity Research Team with funding from the East African Wildlife Society and Nature Kenya.