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Landowners affected by Eldoret Town By-pass threaten to stall project over compensation

Land  owners  affected  by the construction of the Eldoret  town by-pass have threatened to move to court to stop the ongoing  project unless they are compensated by the end of June.

They complained that they have waited for the government patiently to clear with their compensation since 2016 when the  valuation process was completed.

The  land  owners issued the ultimatum during a charged meeting at Kapseret  interchange on Wednesday. They said families  whose land was taken for the project have been subjected to untold suffering since they lost their only source of income.

Ms. Caren  Biwott  said as a single mother with a child living with disability life has been unbearable since the whole of  her land falls within the project corridor.

“I cannot grow any crops or undertake any development on the piece of land as directed by the Kenya highway authority  who  promised to compensate us as soon as valuation was completed. Three years down the line we are still  waiting. Now I cannot  even feed or pay school fees for my children,” she lamented.

The  government is expected to pay a total of Sh.4.12 billion as compensation to 1025 persons affected by the project along  the Cheplaskei to Maili Tisa corridor.

However, the Uasin Gishu County Commissioner (CC), Abdi  Hassan pleaded with the residents not to disrupt the project that  will  not only open up the region for business but also help decongest Eldoret town of traffic.

Hassan  said  the National Lands Commission has already promised to pay out Sh. 367 million from the Sh.512 Million  released by  Treasury as the first tranche of the compensation more than eight months ago.

The  NLC  paid  out only Sh.153million leaving the balance at its accounts raising lots of suspicion and mistrust among  the beneficiaries.

The  CC  assured the land owners that the government will eventually compensate all genuine beneficiaries, but the project  must go on to avoid additional costs by the contractors as claims for idle time of their machines.

The  KenHA Regional Director, Franklin  Kipyator  blamed the delay on missing documents, saying some of the beneficiaries  were  yet to avail all the relevant documents to facilitate release of their funds.

The  CC  warned  that corruption  will  not  be  allowed   to  permeate  the  compensation process, while  cautioning

that  anybody intending  to benefit  from the money  yet they were not affected by the project will be dealt  with lawfully.

By  Kiptanui  Cherono

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