Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has released Sh1.7 billion to compensate fishermen affected by the construction of the first berth of the Port of Lamu.
KPA says the payment has been finalised and payment will start after the fishermen provide their bank account details and their lawyers execute consent letters to be filed in court.
The authority said the compensation process took too long after the Lamu County Fisher Folks filed a petition in court challenging the port’s environmental impact on their fishing.
Their petitioners cited the government Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the construction of the 1st three berths of Lamu Port in their court chellenge.
The LAPSETT Chairpersons committee met this week and approved proposals by the Fishermen Compensation Task Force earlier this month, with 4,734 fishermen set to be compensated.
Meanwhile, a consent note which has been agreed upon by all parties is expected to be filed in court to end the legal proceedings and in the process hasten the compensation process.
Lamu Port. PHOTO/COURTESY
The Beach Management Units leaders and Lamu County government have been asked to ensure they submit their correct bank accounts to ease payments of the compensation.
“The task force on fishermen compensation task force 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,” said KPA Acting Managing Director Rashid Salim.
He added, “A total of Sh1,760, 424,000 shall be utilised to compensate the fishers in cash and for sustainability projects.”
KPA said it embarked on a two-week exercise running from April 25 to May 8 that involved verifying and validating 4,734 fisher folks who will be compensated as stipulated in the adopted report presented in court.
After the meetings in Lamu, the Task Force planned a one-week workshop in Watamu from May 3-7 to finalize on all items needed to progress compensation to the fishers.
The workshop was meant to verify and compile the final list of fishers for compensation, negotiation on the fishers’ proposed breakdown of compensation items, identification of the entity to undertake compensation and agreement on a consent note.
On conclusion of the verification process, the final list of 4,734 fishers to be compensated was arrived at and was signed by the BMU leadership and the Lamu County government.