Lamu politicians urged to stop politicizing coal plant project

Lamu politicians urged to stop politicizing coal plant project

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Lamu, KENYA: Lamu politicians have been urged to stop politicizing the Sh 180 billion Coal mining project at Kwasasi area in Hindi Division in order to make it possible for local farmers to be compensated for their land.

The project under sponsorship of the Amu Power Company comprising of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment, is expected to produce about 981.5 Megawatts of electricity when completed.

Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa said politicians were keen to interfere with the process and frustrate compensation efforts.

Speaking on Wednesday,Ndegwa said politics would only serve to delay justice for those whose lands have been acquired for the same.

He said there is need for those politicians opposed to the coal mining project to stop politicizing every little detail of the project since it has already been approved by the county assembly.

He said continued politicking over the same would “expose those who surrendered their plots of land to Amu Power to financial embarrassment”.

“If they don’t stop  compensation for those whose lands were acquired is nowhere close to happening. We all know politics is bad for any sort of investment project,”said Ndegwa.

Lamu Civic Leader Omar Ahmed Kassim urged politicians to stop politicizing the Amu coal mining project in order to make compensation possible and easier.

The former civic leader said as it is farmers were already getting impatient over the continued delay in payment for the plots of land surrendered to Amu Power owing to constant politicking.

He urged politicians to “stop putting road blocks on the road of investors since the projects being lined up in the county will create thousands of jobs for the local people”.

“Instead of inciting locals to oppose the Amu Company venture to start the coal mining plant, politicians should help explain to them what they stand to gain from these projects,”said Kassim.

He said since the project has been given the seal of approval by the Chief Geologist in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, politicians should stop frustrating the venture.

“Our farmers are eagerly waiting to be compensated for the land surrendered for the coal mining venture and there is no need for politicians to frustrate the commencement of the same,”he said.

In the past, local activists led by women representative Shakila Abdalla have held demos describing the coal mining venture as an environmental hazard and a threat to the tourism industry.

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However, the local county assembly approved the project without any opposition last year.