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Kenyan Women Face Eviction from Farms Due to Coal Mine

When the Kenyan government announced five years ago that coal deposits had been found in the Mui Basin, a land of rolling hills and pristine forests east of Nairobi, local farmers hoped the discovery would help transform their livelihoods.

But as villagers prepare to leave their loamy, fertile soils to make way for the multi-million dollar mine and power station development, many households fear they will miss out on compensation because women do not have titles to their land.

Traditionally, Kenyan society is patriarchal and ownership and decisions on land management or disposal are made by men.

The villagers' situation reflects the predicament of thousands of women throughout Kenya who head their households but are not named on land ownership documents.

Around 30,000 households will be affected by the proposed coal mines in the Mui basin, said Alex Nganga, leader in the local county assembly.

Ollivier Girard/CIFOR

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