Preview – Developing against Development: Resistance as Participation in Development Induced Displacement in Kenya, by Dulo NYAORO

View of Yala Swamp. Source: Anna von Sury, 2015


Mega development projects displaced more than 200 million
people in the 20th century. Terminiski (2012) estimates that 15
million people are displaced annually by development projects.
Although Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement
(DIDR) projects are justified on the basis of greater good, eviction
aggravates poverty by causing landlessness, food insecurity, lack
of access to common property resources, increased morbidity,
and mortality (Cornea, 2000; Bortolome et al, 2000). Downing
(2002) also adds loss of access to public services, disruption of
formal education activities and loss of civil and human rights
as part of the risks. Such values and benefits are difficult to
compute and therefore to compensate, yet such are the “things
people have reason to value” (Sen, 1999).

The integration of community participation in DIDR projects
in the 1980s was therefore conceived as a strategy for reducing
the adverse effects of such projects. However resistance and
controversies still characterise such projects. This study posits
that resistance is part of the participation process. Resistance
often occurs due to the limitations of formal participation and
not lack of it. Using data collected from the development project
of the Yala swamp in Siaya County, in Western Kenya, this
essay argues that disputes are attributable to four main factors.
First, the objectives of participation by project developers and
members of local communities are at variance. Secondly, the
projects often fall short of expectations. Thirdly, the principle
of full disclosure is not fully observed. And finally, external
interests transform the initial agreements and expectations.

This Mambo will be available soon.

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