Issue Number: 2016/01
Dated: October 2016
Kenya is going through a period of intense transition. The country's main development policy, Vision 2030, is just entering the second Medium Term Plan of Implementation from 2013. The development priorities focus extensively on large scale investments, for industrial, irrigated agriculture, utilization of newly discovered natural resources, and infrastructure development. Land is therefore a central commodity for realization of the sought after socioeconomic transformation. However, this poses significant risks to the dominantly rural population that still relies on subsistence agriculture or pastoralism for basic needs. The high levels of poverty raise the question of vulnerability to manipulation during land acquisitions, as well as exposure to negative impacts when social and environmental safeguards are not deployed to protect people during the involuntary displacement that often results when land is acquired for large development projects.
This brief looks into the social, economic and environmental safeguards for communities as the state undertakes compulsory land acquisition for investment purposes.