Last update:

Tarda agricultural farming in Tana River Delta , Kenya

TARDA and the Mumias Sugar Co. wanted to farm sugar cane for local consumption in Kenya and for export (ethanol) in 40,000 ha. An alliance of pastoralists and conservationists stopped the project.


Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA) together with Mumias Sugar Company Ltd (MSCL) came into an agreement to undertake sugarcane growing and ethanol production in the Tana Delta on 20,000 ha of the 40,000 ha land owned by TARDA.

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Tarda agricultural farming in Tana River Delta , Kenya
State or province:Coast Province
Location of conflict:Tana River District
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Agro-fuels and biomass energy plants
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

TARDA and the Mumias Sugar Co. wanted to farm sugar cane for local consumption in Kenya and for export in 40,000 ha. TARDA had earlier initiated rice and maize farming on the land as a response to Kenyas drought and food shortage, which failed.

See more
Project area:20,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:12/2007
Company names or state enterprises:Mumias Sugar Company Ltd from Kenya
Relevant government actors:Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA); -The Ministry of Water and Irrigation;, Water Resources Management Authority;, National Environment Management Authority;, Ministry of Agriculture;, Kenya Forest Service;, Kenya Wildlife Service.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:East African Wild Life Society;, Nature Kenya;, Kenya Wetlands Forum;, Kenya Forests Working Group;, Tana Delta Conservation Organization;, Wema-Ngatana Farmers Cooperative Society;, Lower Tana Delta Conservation Trust;, Tana Delta Pastoralists Initiative;, ARocha Kenya;, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds;, BirdLife international, Action Aid;, DFID UKAid.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
Project cancelled
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Though 32 villages are still settled in the land, the project was still in operation in advanced planning in 2012 although it was later stopped. by a court decision in 2013. In 2016 the project was discarded: the alliance between pastoralists and Kenyan and foreign conservationists had been successful.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

The Agriculture Act, Cap 318;

The Fisheries Act, Cap 378

The Local Government Act, Cap 265;

Forests Act, 2005;

Ramsar Convention 1971

Environmental Policy;Water Act, 2002;

Wildlife (Conservation and Management) Act of 1976 ;

Forest Policy;

Water Policy (National Policy on Water Resources Management);

Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA) of 1999;

Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, 2010;

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

COAST PROVINCE, KENYA (Land Allocation Reference No. 106796 of 17.1.1995)'
[click to view]

EIA part 2
[click to view]


Leah Temper. 2016. Who gets the HANPP (Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production)? Biomass distribution and the ‘sugar economy’ in the Tana Delta, Kenya. J. of Political Ecology 23: 410-433

Arocha Kenya:
[click to view]

World Rainforest Movement
[click to view]

[click to view]

; 'No end in sight for TARDA project'
[click to view]

Royal Society Protection of Birds:
[click to view]

[click to view]

Business Daily Africa, 'MP backs Mumias on Tana River cane plan'
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Serah Munguti
Last update24/08/2019
Conflict ID:26
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.