The government has released about Sh2 billion to compensate farmers whose land was taken for the construction of Lamu port.
The portâ€™s steering committee chairman Abdalla Fadhil has said Sh940 million has been released to compensate about 200 households evicted from the Magogoni port area.
â€œAnother Sh500 million has been released for a fishermen support programme. This programme will assist local fishermen adjust into a new life,â€ said Mr Fadhil.
Further, the government has released Sh500 million to help in the relocation of the affected farmers to new areas within Hindi Magogoni, he noted.
â€œThe good news is that irrespective of whether those to be relocated have title deeds for their land or not, they will be compensated equally provided proof of ownership is established,â€ he said.
Adding, â€œalthough we as a committee had demanded for Sh2 million per acre compensation, the government offered us Sh1.5 million and stakeholders agreed to this,â€ he added.
He noted the least a farmer will receive is Sh1 million adding, while Sh30 million would be the highest amount given.
Most of the relocated farmers would be resettled at the Swahili Settlement Scheme and the portâ€™s peripheral areas. At the moment, adjudication officers and surveyors are on site to complete the process.
Mr Fadhil said a stakeholdersâ€™ forum last week endorsed the Impact Assessment report and also received as gazettement report of the committee.
He further revealed that 900 local youth will benefit from a port operations related course fully sponsored by the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapset) project.
Interviews will start next week and the first batch of 200 students will start training immediately, he said.
Confirming the programme, Lamu County Commissioner Steve Ikua said divisional committees will be formed and charged with the identification of genuine owners to avoid malpractices.
â€œThe local committees will verify all the names of those to be compensated and relocated in the Swahili Settlement Schemeâ€, he said.
He said President Mwai Kibaki would launch the port construction at the end of the month and had instructed the administration to fast-track the compensation/resettlement programme.-Nation