Farmers seek speedy compensation over land for Lamu Wind project

Officials from Kenwind Holdings on September 14, 2016 present a Sh9.1 million goodwill cheque to 26 farmers from Baharini in Lamu who gave up their land for a wind power project. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: Farmers whose lands have been earmarked for the establishment of a Sh 21 billion wind power project in Baharini area in Mpeketoni Division of Lamu West, have called on the investors of the project to speed up the project implementation and subsequently their compensation.

A total of 3,206 acres of land have been acquired at Baharini area with over 600 farmers expected to be compensated for the same.

Baharini Wind Power project is a consortium of Elicio, a Belgium firm in coordination with a Kenyan firm-Kenwind Holdings Limited Company.

The project is expected to generate about 90 megawatt of electricity upon completion.

Speaking when they met in Baharini area on Wednesday, the landowners most of whom are farmers said they needed the compensation money so that they can go and live their lives elsewhere.

They wondered why the compensation seems to take forever yet all the necessary procedures including land review and assessment had already been conducted and approved and that the only remaining thing was for the landowners to be paid for their lands.

Their spokesperson Linus Gachoki said there is need for the compensation to happen soon or they be allowed back to their lands until when the investors will be ready to pay.

Gachoki said its unfair that farmers haven’t been using the lands which were acquired years ago yet they have not also been compensated for the same.

“The lands were acquired over two years ago.Since then many of us haven’t even been farming as we wait for them to pay us so we can buy alternative lands and continue seeking livelihoods.But nothing is forthcoming so far.They should pay us of allowing us back into our lands so that we can use them until they are ready to pay us.Right now, we don’t have our lands and we don’t also have the compensation.It’s a tough situation to be in,” said Gachoki.