Loading...
Good Fortune: Jackson
Now Watching
Good Fortune: Jackson

Massive investment, modern agricultural techniques, regulated irrigation ... the American-owned Dominion Farms development in Kenya sounds like a model example of collaboration between Africa and the West. But local farmers disagree, and are campaigning hard to have their dissenting voices heard.

Flash Player 9.0.115+ or HTML5 video support is required to play this video.
Loading...

For broadcast times in the US visit PBS.

Produced by PBS/POV/Transient Pictures.

To learn more, visit the official Good Fortune movie website.

Loading...

Share this video

Include start time Get current time
Include related videos, articles & actions
Loading...

Segment 1

TITLE
Scenes from the feature documentary: Good Fortune
CALVIN BURGESS [Dominion Farms CEO]
What you're seeing here is some of our newer rice fields. About ... this one right behind us is probably about six weeks old because it's now had its first full flood put on it. So, what we're trying to do here is we're trying to bring in as modern a concept of agriculture as there is anywhere in the world and implement them in the middle of Africa. And I believe, if you come back in about three years you're going to stand here and see rice as far as you can see.
TITLE
Dominion Farms has invested USD$26 million into a state-of-the-art rice farm in western Kenya
CALVIN BURGESS
This was the worst community in Kenya. When we came here five, six years ago, there was a lot of starvation, a lot of hunger and there's people who have college degrees who have never worked down here because there's no jobs. I believe that Africa needs the same as we need in most of the Western world, they need economic development, they need people to come in that will invest their funds, people who will put their dollars to work and expect a reasonable return out of it and then that business builds new business and more business and more business, and that's a sample of what we're trying to do here. So, we'll make a huge difference in the impact of the lives of these people.
JACKSON OMONDI [farmer and schoolteacher]
We are not against the Dominion's activities, but what he's doing is what makes us to become afraid. I saw burning. He had a sprayer and he was spraying the diesel and burning because they want to submerge the whole of this area with water. Dominion is busy working. Dominion is busy clearing the farm. Dominion has blocked the river without even contacting us, talking to us. Now we are just seeing things going without our consent. I came here from school and found the workers painting that beacon. If the level of the water reaches the beacon that indicates that all our land will be submerged with water.
GRAHAM VETCH [Dominion Farms Country Director]
This is all water that's come out of the Yala River, which has been dammed. So we've backed it up, but at the moment we're allowing enough to go through so it doesn't go above this level at the moment until we have totally sorted out our various problems with the communities around us. And once we have this dyke in place we'll then be able to control the waters. Even in a severe, severe drought we'll always be able to control our destiny for quite some months, both for the local people for water, for fish, and for our irrigation requirements. To have an asset like this with 1,100 acres of water is a major thing in this part of the world. The benefits in our opinion well outweigh the ... any detrimental effects that the locals may have, or the perceptions of detrimental effects they may have. So, you know, they have to grow with us, and try and convince them to hang in there guys, it's all going to be okay.
JACKSON OMONDI [in meeting, writing a letter]
What about denying us clean water?
MAN
Denying us clean water.
MAN
Access, access to clean water.
JACKSON OMONDI
Access ... clean water.
MAN
And substitute it with health risk stagnant water.
JACKSON OMONDI
And it creates a breeding place for mosquitos.
MAN
Of course. Increase in malaria infection.
MAN
We'll attach a page with our names and give one to the human rights people and one to the government.
MAN
The ecosystem we have here is a very delicate one and the things he is intending to do will destroy it completely.
MAN
So, somebody who does not care for the others, how can you care for him?
TITLE
www.goodfortunefilm.com