The Government will fully compensate the over 3,000 people whose land will be taken over for the construction of the 824km Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline.
During a tentative land sensitization, registration and acquisition meeting held at Lokichar, the Director of Administration in Ministry of Petroleum and Mining Mr. El Samma Ndegwa reiterated Government’s commitment to full compensation as per the outlined and agreed land rates.
The meeting was attended by among others, officers from various line ministries, agencies, security heads and community elders.
The pipeline, which is one of the key components of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project, is expected to run from Lokichar in Turkana County to Lamu Port.
Mr. Ndegwa said the project was progressing well but emphasized on the need by all stakeholders to work together with a view to ensuring its success.
He added that the interests of all the stakeholders, especially for the people living along the 500m corridor, that they would be addressed.
The administrator revealed that strategies had been put in place to shield the project against negative politics that might reverse gains already attained.
The Lapsset Corridor is a regional flagship project intended to provide transport and logistics infrastructure aimed at creating seamless connectivity between the Eastern African Countries of Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
The project connects a population of 160 million people in the three countries. The project has seven components – Lamu port, railway, highway, crude oil pipeline, product oil refinery, resort centres and airports.
Engineer Simon Sidika of LAPSSET clarified that development on the 100km radius outer layer of the Corridor will be subjected to controls as provided for by law.
LAPSSET Community Liaison Officer for Turkana Gabriel Lokalimoe said that compensation for the unregistered community land will be channeled to a special interest-earning account to be opened by the county government.
“Upon legal registration of the unregistered community lands, the County government will transfer the requisite amounts, together with the interest accrued, to the respective communities’ bank accounts,’ Mr. Lokalimoe said adding that regulations on the signatories of the special purpose accounts will be addressed by the Community Land Act (CLA) regulations.
Mr. Danson Njenga of the National Land Commission (NLC) told the meeting that residents whose land was taken over by the Government for the of the A1 road from Turkana South to South Sudan were not compensated as the land as it was considered unregistered community land.
“The concerned people did not even have proof of legal ownership of the land. However, they were paid for development and structures they had erected on the affected lands,” Mr. Njenga stated.
The community elders agreed to popularize the project terming the promised compensation as acceptable.