More than 1,600 residents spread in 24 villages in Kwale County who will be affected by the construction of the Sh4.8 billion Mwache dam project want to be compensated for their land.
The construction of the proposed Mwache multipurpose project is meant to harness the flood flows from Mwache River basin for domestic water supply and irrigation in Kwale and Mombasa counties respectively.
Mwache Dam is an 87.5 metre-tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic metres for water supply and irrigation and is expected to boost the water supply for the two coastal counties.
The villagers’ representative Shaban Ndegwa said the ambitious project is expected to kick off soon yet the compensation process for their land to be acquired for the project has not been concluded.
Villagers are apprehensive that they will be forced out of their homes to make way for the water project being implemented under the Water Security and Climate Resilience programme without compensation.
Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari said the locals are not opposed to the project implementation but only want compensation before they move out to pave way for the project.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya said his administration will ensure that all legal processes are followed in as far as land acquisition for mega public projects is concerned to avoid cases of injustices.
He called for a fair and just land valuation process and compensation policy to minimise social, economic and cultural impoverishment of the communities near the dam site.
Mvurya said his government will work closely with the National Land Commission (NLC) to solve cases of historical land injustices.
The county boss reassured residents of areas affected by the project and the expansion of the Diani airstrip that strict measures have been put in place to ensure that all compensation processes are fairly and legally effected.
The governor spoke during a recent meeting with NLC Commissioners Kazungu Kambi, Prof James Tuitoek and Murimi Mutugi who were on a familiarisation tour in the region.
Commissioner Kambi said NLC will make sure that proper compensation channels were followed so that all those affected are fairly compensated.