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Farmers demand payment for coal power project land

by kenya-tribune

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Farmers whose land has been earmarked for a coal-fired power plant in Lamu County want to know whether the project is viable or not.

The more than 600 farmers at Kwasasi Village in Hindi Division also want to know if the government and the investor will compensate them for their land.

So far, 975 acres have been set aside for the project undertaken by Amu Power—a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment.

The project is expected to generate 1,050 megawatts upon completion.

Speaking to the Nation in Lamu on Sunday, the farmers voiced their concerns and disappointment over the delayed payment.

Farmers spokesman Abdulrahman Aboud said they have waited for the past three years for the compensation, which has not been forthcoming, as the government and the investor continue to go round circles.

Mr Aboud said they were also unhappy with the silence from the government and the investor in recent days.

He said that Kwasasi farmers should be told whether the project will be implemented or not so that they can plan on how to use their plots, which are idle as they await compensation.

“We have been waiting patiently for the money since 2016. That’s money that can help us acquire alternative settlement to develop ourselves.,” Mr Aboud said.

Another resident, Mr Mohamed Omar, said they have been unable to use their lands despite having not been given a cent.

Mr Omar said it was unfortunate that the government and the investor had not shown signs of speeding up payments for people affected by the project.

He said inasmuch as they had voluntarily given up their land for the project, they would not hesitate to ask the government and the investor to give them back their lands if they fail to compensate them by January.

Mr Athman Salim, who is another affected land owner, said it was strange that the compensation was taking forever, yet all procedures and logistics including the land review and assessment had already been undertaken and approved.

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