The Lamu County government will spend shs. 4.5 Million to compensate farmers who will be affected by the Rural Electrification Programme (REA) that started in Lamu East three years ago, it said on Friday.
The money will be used as a payoff to the farmers for the over 700 trees including palm trees that will be brought down to pave way for the project.
The county government plans to have each coconut tree compensated for Sh.3000 each other tree species will be compensated at Sh.1,500, Lamu governor Issa Timamy, said.
He said the project stalled following a disagreement between the implementing company and the farmers over compensation.
“There was a complaint from farmers who said they had not been informed of their trees being cut down to pave way,” Timamy said.
Following the disagreement between the two sides, REA threatened to withdraw the project, forcing the county government to intervene.
“We forwarded a motion (to the County assembly) seeking to have the county government compensate the farmers so that we don’t lose out on such an important project now that REA was threatening to withdraw,” he added.
“We want the land and tree owners to be identified and compensated before the end of next week so that this electrification project can go on.
Areas bound to benefit from the electrification programme include Mtangawanda, Siyu, Pate, Faza, Kizingitini, Mbwajumwali and Tchundwa, all in Lamu East.