Monday, 16 July 2012

This Makes My Blood Boil

I was going to post a link, but it appears the article is not in the public domain, so here's a scan of the relevant portion:


Hmmm. Not big enough. Tell you what, I'll retype the relevant portion. From an article by Fred Pearce on Page 28 of Issue No 2870 of New Scientist titled 'Stealing the earth':

" Mighty Momn was angry. She was doing her washing a few miles from Lake Victoria in east Africa, soaping her clothes in the shadow of a tall chain-link fence, behind which there was a large farm. The farm was owned by an evangelical American who had made his fortune running private prisons for state governments in the US before coming to Kenya and taking a leasehold to drain the Yala swamp and grow rice in place of papyrus.

" Calvin Burgess, the prison king, assured me he was bringing wealth to the region's Luo people, and that the swamp he was draining (with the help of engineers from Louisiana) was a worthless malarial wasteland. He had erected a large white cross in the middle of the farm, which he called Dominion Farm, to assure the world he was doing God's work.

" But Jennifer Acheng, wearing a torn pink T-shirt emblazoned with the words 'Mighty Mom', begged to differ. " Calvin came to see us when he started ", she said. " We were so happy. We sang for him then. We called him " rain - the father of food." " But this was not to be. She and the 1500 or so villagers squatting outside the farm fence told me that the swamp had been their wealth. " We cut papyrus to make mats, baskets and thatch for our huts. Even the poorest families had at least twenty cattle for meat and milk, " said Acheng.

" Now they are cut off from the swamp, their cattle are gone: all they got in return are a few jobs for women weeding because, as the farm manager Ronald Boone explained to me, the women are cheaper than pesticides. "

You can find Fred Pearce's latest book here:

The Land Grabbers