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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Lamu squatters stay put at airstrip

A plan to relocate Manda Island squatters residing within the airstrip in Lamu county hangs in balance after they opposed the move. They are to be moved to enable construction work at the airport. Late last year, the squatters petitioned the court to stop evictions to enable extension of the runway.
The move to relocate them has taken a new dimension after word started that Uhuru Kenyatta accompanied by five heads of state will be in Lamu to start the construction of the first phase berths of Lamu port.
As a result, the runway has to be expanded, vegetation cleared for security and flights accommodation purposes.
The dwellers have refused to vacate and want to be given a new place to settle.
They recently told Lamu governor Issa Timamy and Kenya Airports Authority and National Lands Commission officials that they must be given a new place to settle first.
The squatters are said to be concerned that KAA has not been honouring an agreement with them and then Lamu county which involves compensation and availing an alternative land.
A report by Lands ministry shows that a total of 24 families are set to get Sh1.4 million and an extra Sh10,000. The last amount will cater for developments on land.
But KAA is said to be out to give Sh40,000 to assist them in settling on new land being given out.