Less than Sh 200million out of Sh539million released by the government has so far been paid as compensation to individuals whose land will be acquired for the construction of the Eldoret southern by-pass.
Kenya National Highways Authority, KeNHA North Rift regional director Engineer Franklin Kipyator said Sh 139million has been paid to some of the land owners where the Sh 5.6million, 35 kilometre project will pass through.
He said the National Lands Commission(NLC) is yet to channel the remaining Sh400million that is to be used to compensate 200 beneficiaries. “If the Sh 400million was paid to the small scale beneficiaries it will open a long distance that will facilitate continuation of the project,” he observed.
Presenting his report to the National government projects steering committee meeting at the county commissioner’s office on Thursday, Eng. Kipyator said they have already held consultative meetings with the land owners who have been made to understand that once they receive the first batch of payment, they will eventually be fully compensated.
The project, jointly funded by Kenya Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) has been characterised by controversy with families whose land will be affected protesting against delayed compensation and threatening to block contractors from starting the project.
They argue the bypass that will run from the Eldoret-Nairobi highway through Eldoret International Airport and connect the Eldoret-Malaba highway at Leseru, has taken almost a year with no clear communication on payout.
Eng. Kipyator however assured the landowners that they will be paid their dues adding that some of the beneficiaries were surprised during the meeting when they were issued with compensation letters and advised to go to the bank to receive their money.
He said NLC will continue to undertake consultations to finalise compensation matters with all the affected land owners
“This will pave way for compensation of residents whose land will be affected by the bypass so that the project being undertaken by China Wu Yi under the supervision of KeNHA can continue smoothly,” he said.
The bypass, once completed will go a long way in decongesting perennial congestion in Eldoret town apart from opening up the region and expanding the North Rift region for more business.
Construction of the Maili Tisa interchange that will give a new look to Eldoret town has already commenced.