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Govt yet to compensate Lapsset land owners

06 August 2014, 12:33 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The National Land Commission (NLC) has revealed that the government is yet to compensate about 91 land owners affected by the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) mega-project.

The NLC Chief Executive Officer, Tom Chavangi told the National Assembly’s Transport and Infrastructure committee that the delay in compensating the land owners after the project’s ground-breaking in 2012 is affecting its commencement.

“I can confirm to this committee that land acquisition for the project is not done and the Lapsset secretariat has not channeled money to our account for compensation of land owners since its launch,” said Chavangi.

“The affected land owners want compensation for their land before the government’s acquisition although progressive dialogue among the responsible stakeholders for compensation is on course,” he added.

Chavangi said the government should be committed in compensating land owners in its flagship projects citing that in the past, many land owners were not compensated before the commencement of projects despite the assurance.

“The Lapsset project should not be like the past projects where the Kenya Urban Roads Authority acquired land but did not compensate over 25 land owners,” asserted Chavangi.

The Committee Chairman, Maina Kamanda said the government’s failure to compensate the land owners was a serious matter that ought to be looked into in fast-tracking the implementation of the mega-project.   

“We therefore summon the Kenya Ports Authority officials, Lapsset chairperson, Lands Registrar and the Chief Valuer to appear before this committee next Tuesday to tell us why they have not allocated NLC money to compensate the affected land owners,” said Kamanda.

Lapsset is among the Vision 2030 flagship project in Lamu County launched in 2012 by former President Mwai Kibaki, South Sudan President Salva Kiir and the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The infrastructure project is meant to connect the countries for efficiency and effectiveness in transportation of goods and movement of people for increased economic growth.     

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