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Kabunde Airstrip set to undergo expansion

Kabunde Airstrip in Homa Bay County is set to be expanded after acquisition of land from the adjacent neighbourhood.

The Airstrip Manager Wycliffe Kadoya said 58 landowners have so far been compensated by Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to pave way for the expansion.

He said the runway will be expanded from 1.2 kilometers to 1.7 kilometers with the project expected to cost Sh170 million.

“We expect to compensate a total of 115 land owners, those who have not been compensated have land succession cases in court. They will be compensated as soon as they are through pursuing the matters in court,” he said.

However, Kabude Land Owners Association spokesperson Stanley Okumu said the land owners want KAA to increase the amount it pays for compensation.

“We tried to plead with the government to pay us more before the upgrade project started but our plea fell on deaf ears,” he said.

Mr Okumu who heads St Mary Pap Ndege Legio Maria parish as a Bishop said his church was paid Sh 5 million to pave the way for airstrip expansion.

“We were paid Sh 800,000 per acre which is below the prevailing market rates. KAA also did valuation of other property in affected areas and paid based on their rates,” he said.

The locals urged KAA to engage in corporate social responsibility by building a school and providing water for the locals.

County government spokesperson Rachel Oguttu said a fully operational airstrip will make Homa Bay to be a gateway to South Nyanza.

By Davis Langat

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