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State releases Sh1.3b for Lapsset land compensation

BUSINESS
By Stephen Makabila | February 15th 2015

The Government is set to release Sh1.31 billion as the first phase of compensation to those whose land is to be acquired for the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor project.

The aim is to build a new, modern port at Lamu and open up a new corridor to be served by it in Northern Kenya and South Sudan by building the requisite infrastructure.

Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary (CS) Michael Kamau said all preparatory work ahead of the payments had been completed by the relevant State agencies. He said about 250 affected land owners are to get the Sh1.31 billion by the end of this month.

“The payments relate to those persons whose holdings lie in the area set aside for the construction of the first three berths of the proposed Lamu Port and an access road,” said Kamau (pictured) in a statement. Kamau went on, “On February 6, 2015, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, instructed Kenya Ports Authority to release Sh1,31 billion into the Bank Account of National Land Commission (NLC) for compensation of the project affected persons (PAPs). It is expected that by end of February 2015, all the PAPs will have received their compensation dues.”

Re-surveying

The CS said the payment is in fulfillment of an assurance to those living in the port area given by the Government during the launch of the project on March 2, 2012, following a feasibility study for the same which was completed in July 2011. Kamau noted all the necessary steps had been taken ahead of the compensation. “An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study was undertaken and all the project affected persons were identified and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) called for a final public hearing meeting in Lamu on June 12, 2013,” read Kamau’s statement in part.

He said the ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development then undertook re-surveying of land parcels and validation of the PAPs within the land required for the first three berths and the access road. “The notice of public inquiry by NLC was issued for the 249 PAPs on December 10, 2015 in local newspapers and also published in the Kenya Gazette as provided for in Section 112(1) of the Land Act 2012,” noted Kamau.

The CS said NLC on January 27, 2015 submitted to the ministry of Transport and Infrastructure the list of the affected persons within Kililana Area, Kililana /Mashundwani Access and Hindi-Magogoni Scheme. “The ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development also submitted survey plans for all the areas,” added the CS.

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