By Judy Ogutu
Communities living in the Tana Delta are seeking orders to stop the Government from developing the land.
Abdalla Rhova Hiribae, Wema Ngatana Co-operative Society Ltd, Hewani Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd and Maulidi Kumbi Diwayu, who claim to be representatives of the communities, have filed the suit at the High Court in Nairobi.
They have sued the Attorney General, National Environmental Management Authority, Tana and Athi River Development Authority, Tana River County Council, Commissioner of Lands and Water Resources Management Authority.
High Court Judge, Justice Luka Kimaru certified the suit urgent and directed them to notify, through local dailies, all concerned parties to indicate whether they shall participate in the proceedings on their own behalf or allow the applicants to do so on their behalf.
Land use plan
They are seeking orders to have the respondents develop, in consultation with all the stakeholders, a comprehensive master plan for land use, development, livelihood and biodiversity ecological protection.
The petitioners accuse the Government of failing to conduct cost-benefit analyses of current ecological values of the delta versus the proposed projects.
According to them, Tana Delta has been subject of exploitation through the several proposed projects such as shrimp and prawn farming, oil seed farming as well as sugar cane and rice farming.
They want the Government to halt the projects pending hearing and determination of the case. The case will be heard on August 19.