CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The coastal wetlands of East Africa are threatened by large-scale irrigated sugar cane projects for the production of agrofuels. These projects are initiated by external investors who choose to ignore both local land tenure rules and the interests of the local population. In a context in which the public agencies are not playing a neutral role of arbitrating between the different users and in which the environmental impact assessments are faked, the opacity of the decision process allows technical disdain of the local communities and confusion between private and public interests. The hidden objectives of these large projects are land grabbing and personal enrichment. Both in Tanzania and Kenya, the rural communities’ fight against the implementation of these large irrigation schemes takes place on the legal field and requires the intervention of the High Court, a legal process in which the local communities receive support from NGOs and experts.

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