KAA to pay 189 residents Sh413m for land used to expand Isiolo airport

Paul Maringa (in a hat) and Johnny Andersen (third-right) during an inspection tour Isiolo International Airport on June 14, 2017. [Ali Abdi, Standard]

The Kenya Airports Authority has been ordered to pay Isiolo residents over Sh400 million for their land compulsorily acquired by the government for the expansion of an airport.

The Environment and Lands Court in Isiolo issued the orders following a suit filed by the residents. The court awarded the 189over Sh413m.

The 189 in the October 2020 suit had named the CS Lands, National Lands Commission, and the Kenya Airports Authority as respondents.

They were part of more than 1,000 people whose lands were compulsorily acquired by the government for the expansion of the then-Isiolo Airstrip to the present status of Isiolo International Airport.

They were then supposed to have been compensated for the loss of land through a resettlement programme within the Mwangaza Area, Isiolo town.

The resettlement programme as per court documents was to be based upon the results of a balloting exercise conducted by the now-defunct County Council of Isiolo.

The 189 claimed following the balloting exercise, they were directed to make payments to cover administrative costs, annual plot rent, and demarcation fees, to the now-defunct County Council of Isiolo.

However, they said they have not been able to take possession of their plots because the subject lands were invaded by hostile third parties who violently took over possession of the property.

They told the court they remained landless for close to 20 years after they lost their land to the government.