Ethiopia- electricity transmission line ready - Ketraco

The power transmitter says all affected persons will be compensated

In Summary
  • The transmission line is 1,068km long
  • The transmission line stretches 437km in Ethiopia and 631km in Kenya
Electricity cables.
BLACKOUTS: Electricity cables.
Image: FILE

The multi-billion Kenya-Ethiopia electricity transmission line is ready for commissioning according to the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco).

The company downplayed the compensation issues involving a group of families in Naivasha adding that the tests on the Sh100B line had kicked off.

According to Ketraco, they were waiting for a valuation report from the National Land Commission (NLC) before compensating affected persons.

The move comes a day after the parliamentary committee on energy accused the company of failing to pay the families despite the government allocation of Sh8 billion for the exercise in 2019.

The committee further noted that the delay in the project had raised concern with the Ethiopian government which had already completed its parts of the agreement.

In a statement, Ketraco noted that the delay had been caused by a directive after the committee gave orders to the land commission to review the land valuations in the area.

The company said that it held meetings with the persons affected by the project and they were of the opinion that all pending land payments be stopped and wait for the NLC reports.

“This project is due for commissioning and so stringing of the pending 4.5km is ongoing as the parties await NLC’s report,” read the statement.

The company noted that the project which would facilitate power exchange between Ethiopia and Kenya was in its final stages with commissioning tests ongoing.

However, the chairman of the energy committee in parliament David Gikaria pointed an accusing finger at Ketraco for the current crisis.

He said that the first evaluation was done back in 2013 but the transmitter delayed the payment forcing the farmers to seek re-evaluation in 2018.

 “We handed over our recommendation to the implementation committee in parliament and we are shocked that Ketraco which got the Sh8B compensation funds has not done its part,” he said.

Speaking in Naivasha, he noted that the delayed compensation had affected works on the project forcing their Ethiopia counterparts to complain.

“We were in Ethiopia last month and the Minister of Energy was complaining about failure by Kenya to complete its part of the project thus affecting planned evacuation of electricity,” he said.

On his part, Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja accused KETRACO of using unorthodox methods to take over the land from the peasant farmers.

“Some of the farmers have been arrested while demanding their rightful dues and currently the prices of land in this area have changed and hence the need for revaluation,” he said.