Several thousand Kenyans living in Tanzania have made their way back to their homeland following the Tanzanian Government's nationalisation decisions.
Several thousand Kenyans living in Tanzania have made their way back to their homeland following the Tanzanian Government's nationalisation decisions. The refugees pose a serious problem to the kenyan Government. Many arrived home with little more than the clothes they stood in. Most had no land or home to return to and no friends or relatives to help the. The kenyan authorities have granted many of the refugees plots land at lake kenyatta in the Lamu District.
Under the terms of the East African Community charter which binds Kenya, Tanzania and uganda, there is supposed to be freedom of movement within the community and no discrimination on grounds of nationality. But in fact, although there is a large number of Ugandans and Tanzanians working in Kenya very few kenyans are allowed to live and work in the other two countries.
Many of the Kenyan refugees from Tanzania were forced to leave because their small businesses and farms were nationalised. Others left because they found Kenyans could not get employment.
The Kenyan Government met the problem of setting these and past refugees by allotting small plots of land for subsistence farming. One typical development is at Lake Kenyatta in the north-east of the country. The project started two years ago. In that time 1,250 families have been settled. Each family gets ten acres which it must clear.
It is a hard life, and not all the settlers stay. The Lake is too small to be used for irrigation and the farmers have to hope for good rains to make the arid land rich. The farmers raise cotton, maize, nut and pigeon peas.
The method of allocating land is simple. It is surveyed and cut into ten acre lots. The lots are numbered on pieces of paper, put into a hat and the prospective farmer draws his future by ballot. From that point on it's up to him.