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Lamu residents demand compensation for proposed coal plant

By Jane Mugambi | Published Mon, July 9th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 8th 2018 at 22:18 GMT +3
Kwasasi Farmers Association demonstrate in Lamu Island in support of the Amu Coal project in which they have demanded the National Land Commission speed up land compensation. [Standard]

Residents are demanding compensation for 1,000 acres they gave up for construction Amu Coal Power Plant.

The residents, who held peaceful demonstrations on Wednesday in support of the project, accused the National Land Commission (NLC) of dragging its feet in compensating them.

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Kwasasi Farmers Association members, led by their chairman Abdul Rahman Aboud, said the project expected to commence in August, would improve the economy of the region.

Conservation groups from the county have opposed the project at Kwasasi in Hindi.

Save Lamu has been on the forefront in opposing the project over fears it will destroy the environment.

Aboud said: “The conservation groups have nothing to offer Lamu County. They are only known for wearing conservation badges but have done nothing to ensure the county has more trees.”

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Selfish interests

“These conservation groups are only out to satisfy their selfish interests. They are only opposition the project their financiers,” said the chairman.

Aboud said the project will provide jobs to about 3,000 youths.

“But the national government must speed up compensation. The farmers whose land was taken have been waiting for five years,” said Aboud.

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The National Assembly Committee on Energy has also supported the Sh200 billion coal plant.

Committee chairman David Gikaria had noted the plant will use advanced technology which has proved beyond doubt that coal production can be safe.

NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri stated the farmers would soon be paid. The commission will pay at least Sh800,000 per acre.

But the farmers complained the money was not enough and asked the commission to increase it.

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