- A total of 4,734 Lamu fisherfolk affected by the construction of the Sh310 billion Lamu port are set to receive their compensation.
- Dredging activities near Manda Bay have led to the decimation of fish breeding sites and mangrove forests.
The Kenya Ports Authority has commenced training of clerks to process Sh1.76 billion compensation for fisherfolk displaced by Lappset.
The clerks will undertake the final collection, verification, and validation of signatures and bank accounts of those to be paid.
A total of 4,734 Lamu fisherfolk affected by the construction of the Sh310 billion Lamu port are set to receive their compensation.
In May 2018, the Malindi High Court ordered the state to pay the fishermen the Sh1.76 billion after the Lapsset project was found to have disrupted both the cultural and economic activities of the fisher community in Lamu.
As per the agreement between the KPA and the fishers, they will receive 65 per cent direct cash compensation with 35 per cent goes to the sustainability of Lamu county fishing activities.
The two day training will take place in Lamu starting this week and aims to equip the clerks with the necessary skills to ensure a smooth process.
KPA board chairperson Benjamin Tayari launched the exercise on Wednesday in an exercise that will see the clerks proceed to the field from Thursday to March 29 this year.
The authority's principal legal Officer Stephen Kyandih said efforts would be made to ensure every beneficiary is reached to enable them physically sign the agreement.
He said in cases where one is indisposed and is unable to physically come to the designated venue to sign the agreement, the appointed officials and clerks have been directed to make arrangements to reach the person physically for the signature.
“As a clerk your job is to validate the list of fishermen and agreements for the areas allocated to you,”Kyandih said.
The compensation committee co-chairman, who is the KPA corporate communication manager Bernard Osero, called for accuracy and thoroughness on the part of the clerks in the entire process.
Dredging activities near Manda Bay have led to the decimation of fish breeding sites and mangrove forests through excavation and silting, hence limiting the capacity of regeneration of fish along the channel.
The introduction of large sea vessels that have been docking at the port since it was operationalised in May has interrupted the fisheries ecosystem leading to loss of fish through migration or outright decimation.
Dredging has equally resulted in cessation of traditional fishing practices in traditional fishing channels that are heavily relied upon by the Lamu fisher folk.
This means traditional fishing waters have been closed off to artisanal fishermen who depend upon the waters of the channels for their livelihood forcing many to abandon the trade since the only option left is for them to ply the more dangerous high seas which are deadly.