Kenyan Economy

Influential individuals grab 350,000 acres of Galana-kulalu irrigation project

The Galana irrigation project was meant to put over 1 million acres of land under irrigation. Image/courtesy

A group of influential and hghly-connected individuals has grabbed a whopping 300,000 acres of land from the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) land in Kilifi County, the land meant for the Galana irrigation project.

According to media reports, the audacious grabbers are annexing at least 25,000 acres per month. One of the grabbers is so bold that he has reportedly started constructing a dam on the grabbed parcel of land.

In a letter dated April 9, 2021, ADC has asked the Ministry of Lands and National Land Commission (NLC) to intervene and reclaim the land.

“The attention of ADC has been drawn by the invasion of the land by few settlers, who have cultivated less than 10 acres in few small areas, adjudication process in the name of ADU KAMALE, ADU CHAMARI and WAKA ADJUDICATION sections and massive subdivision and clearing for access roads by land buying companies/private persons,” ADC board chairman Nick Salat says.

He adds: “The resultant subdivisions are being sold to unsuspecting buyers and have already started cultivation and clearing of access roads.”

The land said to have been grabbed is valued at about Sh15 billion at an average of Sh50,000 per acre.

The Galana-kulalu irrigation project was a project of the jubilee government meant to put a million acres of land under irrigation to guarantee food security by the government. Initially, a 14 billion was set aside to kick start the project. The project which was being undertaken by the jubilee government however failed to live up to its billing due to allegations of corruption.