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Lamu men deserting wives after receiving compensation money

Some of the Women whose lands have been earmarked for mega industrial projects in Lamu who have expressed fears of being duped by their husbands. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Women whose lands have been earmarked for mega industrial projects in Lamu want the various investors to ensure they are not duped of their own share of the compensation money by their husbands.

The women said there was also need for the investors to offer financial training and advice to enable their men know how to put the money to good use once compensation happens.

The women from Baharini and Kwasasi areas where a Sh.21 billion wind harnessing plant and a Sh.200 billion coal plant is to be set up, respectively said they are worried that their men might turn their backs on them and their marriages upon receiving the compensation money.

They say this has been the case with men who were compensated in Millions for the new Lamu port LAPSSET who walked out of their marriages and got themselves new wives.

The women now want the investors to hold financial awareness meetings and insist on their husbands to tag them along so that they get to be part and parcel of the compensation process before the money is finally released.

Loice Ng’ang’a of Baharini, said some of their men had already started behaving oddly and giving them the cold treatment especially after it was established that the investors were planning to compensate land owners soon.

They want the investors to enter into MoUs with each family whose land has been acquired in order to ensure even the women and children get to benefit from the compensation monies.

“We are very worried wives and mothers.We heard what happened to women,children and marriages when men at Kililana received compensation money for the LAPSSET.We can predict a similar situation here.Our men are already on cloud nine.You cant tell that things will no longer be the same with millions in the bank.We just want to secure our children’s future.Men will take all these money and disappear to oblivion with other women.We don’t want to suffer with our children.There must be an MoU where we will also sign an agreement to share the compensation money,”said Ng’ang’a.

Monica Wairimu of Kwasasi said many men had kept land title deeds away from them and that that was a clear signal that other plans could be in the offing.

“The investors must ensure we get 50% of the money paid.Can imagine a man sleeping with the title deed under the pillow.What more if they get the millions?If we also get the money,they wont run away from us since they will know we wont suffer even if they do,”said Wairimu.

The women said some of their men were also threatening them with marrying second wives over simple disagreements in the home.

“If you step on his toes,he tells you not to worry since he will soon marry someone who will take better care of him than you do.Its like we are now walking on egg shells.Their horns will only be cut short if we also get the share of the monies.Then they will learn to respect our marriages again,” said Hafswa Said.