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Serious conflict is now looming between Lake Agro Limited and the riparian community surrounding the Yala Swamp in Siaya County.

Following announcement by the Meteorological Department that the long rains are bound to be heavy with the possibility of an El Niño syndrome farmers are encroaching in droves on land controversially allocated to Lake Agro. The Yala Swamp wetland is Siaya County’s breadbasket and has long been in the limelight for the wrong reasons.

Recently the National Lands Commission allocated the current investor an additional 3200 hectares of land to the 3700 hectares previously owned by the last investor Dominion Farms Limited. Controversy has been brewing between conservationists and the riparian community on one hand and the county government and investor on the other.
Siaya Deputy Governor Dr William Oduol Denge has asked the Governor to come clean and tell residents of Siaya why he did not pursue the controversial allocation in court as he had earlier indicated.

A senior conservationist who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “The confrontation was imminent. Last month Governor Orengo called a meeting of all stakeholders in Ratuoro that residents ignored. He has now zeroed in on conservationists. We have an invite to attend a meeting at the Governor’s office on September 23 but we have decided to boycott it. The Governor betrayed us on the matter of the burst Lake Kanyaboli dyke as well as the arbitrary allocation and renaming of two blocks of Yala Swamp wetland as Usonga/Usonga.”

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Suspicion has been cast on Governor Orengo for making a strange about turn on suing the National Lands Commission over the arbitrary allocation. Now the residents of West Alego, Central Alego and Yimbo Wards have boldly decided to encroach on land they claim to hold ancestral attachment to.

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