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National Lands Commission accused of leasing out Yala swamp

Siaya Governor James Orengo

The National Lands Commission ignored Siaya and Busia County governments while leasing out part of Yala Swamp to a private developer, Siaya Governor, James Orengo has said.

Orengo says that the devolved units do not support the decision by the NLC to lease out over 3,000 hectares of the swamp to Lake Agro Company limited for a period of 66 years.

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Speaking to the press outside his office after he, together with his Busia counterpart, Dr. Paul Otuoma chaired a joint meeting on Yala swamp ecosystem plan, Orengo called for a review of the lease, adding that the public and other stakeholders’ views must be taken into consideration.

He said that Siaya and Busia share the same ecosystem and matters touching on the swamp must involve the residents and governments of the two counties.

“We must talk about it and get a solution” said Orengo adding that this however, does not mean that they were opposed to investment in the region.

The Governor said that a 30 to 33 year lease would have been sufficient.

“If the investor proves himself that he is capable of improving the local economy, the lease can be renewed” he added.

Busia Governor, Dr. Paul Otuoma called for a joint approach to matters touching on the Yala swamp ecosystem.

Otuoma said that the two counties had agreed on a joint approach towards disaster management preparedness as the country faces el Niño rains.

KBC Correspondent
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