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Compensation arrangements for fishermen in Lamu finalized

Sh1.7 billion has been set aside to compensate 4,734 fishermen once they provide the bank account details and their lawyers have executed the duly filled required consent letter.

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has announced that plans for the long-awaited compensation for the affected fishermen during the construction of the first berth of the Port of Lamu have been finalized.

According to KPA, the compensation exercise has taken too long to be concluded after the Lamu fisher community filed a petition in court challenging among other issues, the environmental impact to their fishing brought about by the construction of the Port as captured in the government Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the construction of the first three berths of Lamu Port.

Acting KPA Managing Director, Rashid Salim, said the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSETT) Corridor Chairpersons Committee met this week and approved the recommendations made by the Fishermen Compensation Task Force earlier this month.

In a press statement, Friday, Eng. Salim said a consent note which has been agreed by all parties shall be filed in court to bring to a close the legal proceedings to hasten the compensation exercise.

“A total of Sh1, 760, 424,000.00 shall be utilized to compensate the fishers in cash and for sustainability projects,” said KPA boss.

He asked the fishers through the Beach Management Units (BMU), leadership and the County government to ensure that they have submitted their correct bank accounts to ease payments of cash compensation.

The task force on fishermen compensation was reconstituted and facilitated to complete the process of identifying the list of 4,734 beneficiaries as outlined in the Lamu County Report tabled in the High Court.

Kenya Ports Authority as the project proponent facilitated and embarked on a two-week exercise running from 25th April to 8th May 2021 that entailed verifying and validating 4,734 fisher folks who will be compensated as stipulated in the adopted report presented to the court.

Following the meetings in Lamu, the Task Force planned a one-week workshop in Watamu in Kilifi County from 3rd May to 7th May 2021 to finalize on all items needed to process compensation to the fishers.

The Agenda for the Watamu workshop included verification and compilation of the final list of fishers for compensation, negotiation on the fishers’ proposed breakdown of compensation, identification of the entity to undertake compensation, and agreement on a consent note on compensation of fishermen.

At the end of the verification process, the final list of 4,734 fishers to receive compensation was arrived at and was signed by the BMU leadership and the Lamu County Government.

By Mohamed Hassan

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