Multi-agency team demarcating and valuing the land for LAPSSET corridor at Nakukulas, Turkana East.
A multi-sectoral agency composed of officials from the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum, surveyors from Ministry of Land and National Land Commission have completed demarcating, mapping and registering residents who will be affected by the LAPSSET corridor projects. The 21 days registration exercise commenced from Nachola in the border of Turkana and Samburu County and ended in Nakukulas in Turkana East, where oil fields are found. LAPSSET project, which holds critical Government infrastructure, will take 500 metres width and 823 kilometres from Nakukulas in Turkana County to Lamu Port in Lamu County. The land will have a railway line, highway, pipeline and fibre optic cable. Elsama Ndegwa, Director Ministry of Mining and Petroleum, who was the team lead, said surveyors have taken keen steps to ensure everyone within the corridor has been captured. “Surveyors are registering graves, indigenous trees, monuments, and available infrastructure with an intention of compensating, we will compensate all”, said Elsama Ndegwa. “Once complete, LAPPSET project will pump crude from Lokichar to Lamu”, he added. Richard Emoru, Regional manager LAPPSET Turkana said once laying of pipes will commence, over 2,400 jobs for the youths will be created. “Once we have crossed this milestone of getting the land and compensating our people, we will now engage in the process of actualizing the project because Lamu is already ready to bring goods to South Sudan and also Ethiopia”, said the LAPPSET manager, Turkana region. Emoru added that the exercise has been transparent by involvement of multi-agency teams. James Long'ole, County coordinator for National Lands Commission lauded the residents, including the elders, youth and women along the LAPSSET Corridor for embracing the project by allowing the valuation process to take place smoothly. Daniel Mumira, commissioner of police from National Security, has said since they commenced the 823 kilometres from Lamu to Turkana, the workers have not experienced any security threats during the exercise. “We appreciate this milestone and we urge the residents to continue giving us security and ways of embracing this critical project”, said Mumira. Kochodin location area chief, Sarah Ekidor said they have been sensitizing the community about the project through elders and youth, who provided the community with enough information about the LAPSSET project. “During this valuation exercise, the people of Kochodin were aware and hospitable and we appreciate it,” said Ekidor. James Lotaba, 48, a resident of Nakukulas village near the Turkana East oil fields, has asked the government to speed up the compensation exercise in order to reach them at a better time. “We need to be given our exact share without any hesitation or interfering with the information we have given to surveyors because the valuing exercise was transparent,” said Lotaba. Turkana East Deputy County Commissioner Shaban Saidi warned residents against putting up any new structures in areas already surveyed.
The Ministry of Lands is working together with the local community to ensure they register their land to acquire title deeds to facilitate the smooth compensation process. “Community Land Act 2016 mandates the County government to be custodian of the community land and we are hastening land registration processes to enable community members to directly get compensated instead of the money to be entrusted to the county government”, said Andrew Khaemba from the Ministry of Lands.