, LAMU, Kenya, Sept 8 – Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu on Monday nullified the list of 146 families earmarked for compensation for the construction of the massive Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project.
She further directed a one week audit of the list to verify the real owners of land affected by the LAPSSET project.
Ngilu was speaking in Lamu County after launching the exercise by the Ministry of Lands to verify the ownership of the land where the Lamu port is earmarked for development.
The move comes after families from Kililana and Mashunduani held protests claiming that the Ministry of Transport and the LAPSSET Development Authority had prepared a different list of beneficiaries.
The families led by Kililana Farmers Association chairman Ali Obbo vowed not to allow any construction until the payments were made. He said residents were promised payment by the end of July but had not received the monies even after presenting their bank accounts and personal details to the Kenya Ports Authority.
The National Land Commission conducted a verification process in July and established that 146 people were to be paid but another list of 62 fresh claims emerged.
The government had announced that Sh1 billion has been set aside for the families’ compensation while the Kenya Ports Authority assured that residents with land in the affected areas will get Sh1.5 million per acre as compensation.
President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the ground-breaking ceremony this month after the Kenya Ports Authority in August signed a Sh42 billion contract with a Chinese firm for the construction of the first three berths in Lamu.
The construction of the Lamu Port in Kenya was officially launched by former President Mwai Kibaki, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and the late Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.
The port is expected to act as the main gateway to Africa’s Great Lakes region that includes the Horn of Africa, eastern Africa and Central Africa.