By Abdi Hussein
Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (Ketraco) will now continue constructing the Isinya-Namanga power-line after it struck a deal with land owners.
The Sh2.6 billion construction that runs across Kajiado Central Sub- County stalled eight years ago due to a compensation stand-off between Ketraco and the farmers.
The company however budged after it agreed to revise the compensation upwards from Sh800, 000 to Sh1.2 million per acre on the 90kms long project.
Some affected farmers had moved to court while others blocked Ketraco contracted workers as they were working on the on the line passing through their land.
The community rejected the revised offer of Sh800, 000 per acre compensation at the rate of 35 per cent as proposed by the National Land Commission (NLC).
The Ministry of Lands initially valued the land in Mailwa and Lorngosua at Sh750, 000, a figure that was earlier disputed and rejected by the community and elected local leaders.
The community in Matapato North and South wards said their land had been under-valued and on May 6, 2021, the Ketraco management led by Chairman Joe Mutambo held a meeting with the community at Maili Tisa to strike the agreement which paved way for restart of the project.
When they emerged from the four hours stormy meeting, Ketraco announced that the land will now be valued at Sh1.2million, bringing the conflict to an end.
“Justice has finally prevailed and we have accepted the new rates for the project to continue,” said residen Melton Birisha.
They now want compensation to be fast tracked to enable those with homes along the designated power-line to shift.
Governor Joseph ole Lenku who played a vital role in convening the meeting, said the stalemate had slowed down work and created bad blood between the company and the community.
Mutambo said about 500 land owners along the way-leave will benefit from the compensation deal, among them the land owners and other neighbours.
Residents are poised to benefit from Sh 300million Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) package from KETRACO.