Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Denial Is Not a River In...oh wait...

The lawsuit that Kenyan citizens brought against their government for introducing the invasive plant they know as mathenge (Prosopis juliflora, also known as mesquite) is finally at trial, and the government is doing its best to shift the blame to someone else. The East African Standard is reporting that the Kenyan government is denying that it was behind the introduction of mathenge to the country, instead pointing a finger at the Food and Agricultural Organization. In fact the government is claiming that the citizens who sued them were aware of this and hid the facts from the judges hearing the case. Just in case this defense does not work, the government is also claiming that the citizens are not even justified in bringing the lawsuit, since mathenge is a "considerable and valuable resource for developing nations" and the town of Baringo, Kenya "has changed for the better and not for the worse with the introduction of biomass." Hmm...invasive, thorny, poisonous biomass. Baringo must have been pretty awful before the mathenge started spreading.

Interested readers will want to check out some of the other ISW posts about mathenge.

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