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Residents relocate for airport expansion

04 June 2013, 18:02 Wangui Joseph

The Nyeri County business community has all reasons to smile following pledge by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to expand Nyaribo airstrip to an international airport.

The exercise will take two years but once completed, it will help horticulture and floriculture farmers with faster delivery of their produce to the market.

Speaking on Monday during a meeting in the area, KAA Managing director Stephen Gichuki said that more land will be needed for the expansion exercise.

Gichuki said about 190 acres of land are required for the expansion of the airport that will cater for the entire County farmers and business community.

The current airstrip has occupied 180 acres of land and experts say it is insufficient to accommodate huge cargo planes.

“We need more land of about 1.7 kilometres which is equivalent to 190 acres of land for this exercise to move on smoothly,” he said.

Gichuki said that the County government will need to allocate almost KES 1 billion to resettle and compensate residents who will be affected by the project.  

To make this happen, the MD said some land will be curved from the nearby residents who will be compensated later by the County government.

Addressing the meeting, Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua assured residents that all those who will be affected by the expansion exercise will be compensated at the current land-buying rate in the area.

He said once the airport construction is over, floriculture farmers from Mweiga will be the greatest beneficiaries.

The Governor added that his County will increase its revenue base from earnings from local tourism, business people as well as by providing skills to local university students doing aviation.

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