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2,000 landowners face uncertain future after project cancellation

The fate of the over 4,000 acres of land set aside for
two power-generating projects in Lamu is unknown, despite the fact that the
plans were halted several years ago.

2,000 plot owners are in the dark because the acquisition was not revoked and
the title deeds were not returned to them.

Sh200 billion coal-fired power plant is one controversial project.

Power, a joint venture of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment, was in charge of
the proposed Lamu Coal Project.

plant was to be built in Kwasasi village, Hindi, Lamu West.

2016, at least 975 acres of land have been acquired, and the plant is expected
to generate 1,050 megawatts of power.

National Environment Tribunal (NET) revoked the plant’s license in June 2019,
citing the National Environment Management Authority’s (Nema) failure to
conduct a proper environmental impact assessment (EIA.)

was also chastised for granting the project an EIA licence that appeared to be
generic rather than project-specific.

tribunal also stated that the coal plant’s builders excluded engineering plans
and key project facts from public participation and failed to consider the
Climate Change Act. It ordered Amu Power and Nema to begin a new EIA licensing
process and to ensure compliance with the law.

of the land parcels urged county officials to work with the national government
through the National Land Commission (NLC) to expedite the revocation of the
title deeds issued to project investors and return the lands to locals for
other uses.

Fadhil, chairperson of the Kwasasi Farmers Association, claimed that officials
had remained silent since the project was canceled four years ago.

claimed that no one had come out to explain what would happen to their lands.

600 farmers were impacted by the coal plant project.

Fadhil stated that, despite the fact that the farmers were not compensated, the
NLC issued a title deed to the project investors, implying that they no longer
own the land.

to him, Kwasasi farmers believe the NLC and project investors have deprived
them of their land.

urged the government to resolve the title deed issue and return the farmers’

waited for the promised compensation for over six years. As Kwasasi farmers, we
can’t proceed with our developments on the land because it’s in their hands.
Though the project was cancelled, we can’t access or develop those plots,” said
Mr Fadhil.

to Mohamed Garane, the farmers had accepted the project before NET cancelled
the coal plant licence.

believes the government, the NLC, and the investor should meet with the Kwasasi
farmers to determine whether the project is still viable.

the project hits a dead end, it’s good that the land ownership is transferred
to the innocent farmers. Why transfer land ownership to the investor without
compensating the owners? We need the land given back to us,” Mr Garane said.

Hamisi, another landowner in Kwasasi, said the project’s cancellation four
years ago made their lives even more difficult.

should come out to explain to us whether the project will ever take off instead
of the continued silence. Even if we take our lands back, we will still be on
the losing end because many years have passed without any developments made on
those lands,” said Ms Hamisi.

National Land Commission (NLC), then led by Muhammad Swazuri, reviewed the
Kwasasi lands in 2016 and approved compensation for owners of Sh800,000 per

than 1,000 landowners in Baharini, Mpeketoni, Lamu West, earmarked for the Sh21
billion Lamu Wind Power plant, are in the same boat.

project was to be undertaken by the Baharini Wind Power Project, a
collaboration between the Belgian Elicio Company and the Kenyan firm Kenwind
Holdings Limited.

project will require approximately 3,400 acres of land.

was supposed to generate 90 megawatts of power, but it was cancelled by the
Lamu County Assembly in July 2020, citing the investor’s failure to comply with
requirements, resulting in confusion, chaos, and displacements.

affected farmers have not been kept up to date on the status of their land, the
most of which is lying idle.

of the farmers, Samuel Kimani, has asked the government and investors to
explain whether the farmers can develop their lands.

full story here

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