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Leaders ask firm in Sh13 billion Kinangop wind power project told to move out

CENTRAL
By ANTONY GITONGA | June 10th 2014
A resident of Kinangop in Nyandarua County protests against the 61mw wind power project in the area and whose work has started. The locals gave the investors who have invested Sh13B in the project a two week ultimatum to leave the area. [PHOTO: ANTONY GITONGA/STANDARD]

NYANDARUA COUNTY: The Sh13B Kinangop wind power project hangs in the balance after leaders and residents of Nyandarua and Nakuru counties rejected their venture.

The leaders issued a 14 day ultimatum to the Kinangop Wind Park Project to leave the area months after the project had kicked off.

The project that seeks to produce 61mw has been funded by various foreign investors and will affect tens of farmers in Kinangop and Naivasha constituencies.

During a heated meeting held in Mwenda-andu trading centre in Kinangop constituency, Nyandurua County government denounced the project to the shock of the investors.

Kinangop Mp Stephen Kinyanjiu issued the two-ultimatum alleging that area farmers had been conned in the project which he termed as unworkable.

The legislator called for the revocation of the project license adding that farmers stood to loose huge chunks of land where the wind turbines would be erected.

“We are giving the investors a 14 day ultimatum to close their site and stop the project as we have come to learn it has more harms than benefits,” he said.

Naivasha East MCA Samuel Waithuki said that farmers in Naivasha where the power plant would be constructed had not been involved.

“Local leaders were not involved in this project and some of our people were conned in signing agreements that oppress them,” he said.

His counterpart Peter Kairo from Githabai ward in Kinangop accused a group of businessmen for misleading the investors.

“We are ready to die fighting against this project which has more harms than benefits and it’s a way of reintroducing neo-colonialism,” he said.

Nyandarua County minister for legal and public service George Kimani said that there was no transparency in the project and public participation.

The lawyer recalled all the agreements signed between the farmers and the power company saying that they were skewed.

“The investors should involve the county in this project and they should highlight all the effects and the mitigation measures put in place,” he said.

The power company through its CEO James Wakaba however denied the allegations saying that several meetings had been held before the project started.

He said that the project would use USD150m adding that all the affected 140 families had already been consulted.

“We have heard the cries and concern of this people and we are ready to go back to the drawing board and address the issues raised,” he said.

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