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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Maasais lament Ketraco taking their land at dead meat price

What started as a mere misunderstanding between Maasai leaders and the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company over compensation has taken a dramatic turn with Maasai leaders now rejecting compensation terms for land owners.
Recently, a meeting was held at Sandalwool Resort Club in Kitengela where the Maasai elders rejected Ketraco’s offer of 10pc increment in addition to 30pc to land owners.
According to the elders, the land owners are demanding 85pc compensation which the company has since declined since it was operating within the law as recommended by the National Land Commission. Following the stalemate, the locals have now vowed to stall the multi-million project that passes through their ancestral land.
According to sources well versed with the talks, Ketraco has offered to pay Kajiado Maasai land owners Sh250,000 per acre to allow it use the land as power way leave across the region. However, local leaders have been blamed for inciting residents against the company for political mileage. The company says that it is unreasonable for leaders to incite locals demanding that they be compensated on the same margin like land owners in Makueni and Machakos were paid better.
Governor David Nkedianye said he suspected foul play from Ketraco in the payouts, something which Ketraco has disputed saying that the company was operating within the law.  During the Sandalwood Resort Club meeting attended by Nkedianye and MPs Moses Sakuda  of Kajiado West, Mary Seneta, women rep, Peris Tobiko, Kajiado East and Kajiado West ODM politician Joseph Simel, the leaders pledged to rally the people to ensure Ketraco pays them what they are demanding. Ketraco has paid over Sh2.5 billion from Mombasa to Embakasi,
Recently, Ketraco signed two contracts for the implementation of Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu electricity transmission project during a contract signing ceremony held at the company’s head office Nairobi.
The line, which is rated at 400kV, will evacuate geothermal energy from Olkaria to the Western region of Kenya, greatly improving the power supply.
The project will also serve as the backbone for regional power interconnection among the countries in the region. The line will run from Olkaria to Lessos near Eldoret, connecting to Tororo in Uganda via the Kenya-Uganda interconnector and further to Rwanda. It will also connect to the Ethiopia-Kenya interconnector which terminates at Suswa substation, via the Olkaria-Suswa project.
Tobiko on her part said it is unfortunate that Kajiado communities have been grappling with the issue since 2010 while Sakuda said Ketraco paid the people of Makueni 85pc of the land value which Ketraco insists was at the recommendation of NLC.
The land in question was owned by Olosho-Oibor Water Catchment Area, which Ketraco had to compensate for limiting its usage due to the construction of a transmission line from Suswa to Isinya that requires a 60-metre wayleave.