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