Kenyan “Everglades” to be drained for sugar cane

I heard about the Florida Everglades return on the radio the other morning while getting the kids ready for school. I had no idea that the exact opposite was happening on my doorstep. The Economist – Kenya plants sugar cane; America uproots it.

LAST week Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, announced the purchase of almost 300 square miles of land in the middle of the Everglades from a sugar producer. Rather than building on it, Florida will allow the land to revert into its natural state.

On the other side of the world, the government of Kenya said it plans to do exactly the opposite: 80 square miles of the Tana river delta will be dug up by a private company that will grow sugarcane to be turned into biofuel. The Tana delta, which lies 120 miles north of the coastal city of Mombasa and drains Kenya’s longest river, is a mix of savannah, mangrove swamps, forest and beaches. Like the Everglades, this wetland area has unique wildlife; it sustains lions, hippos, reptiles, primates, rare sharks and 345 bird species, as well as thousands of farmers and fishermen. It provides the only dry-season grazing for hundreds of miles around. . .

Read the rest of the Economist article

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2 thoughts on “Kenyan “Everglades” to be drained for sugar cane

  1. nairobichronicle says:

    In life, change is a constant. Nothing remains the same. Some of these changes are necessary in order to provide a better life to the people, jobs, access to healthcare, education, etc. The world is moving fast, those people who still want to live the idyllic life of our ancestors will find themselves left behind for good.

    Apart from that, well managed development is not entirely incompatible with conservation.

  2. Ben says:

    Very true; tough choices. Let’s hope this conservation sacrifice actually goes for the benefit of the people who need it.

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