- In 2018, the High Court sitting in Malindi awarded the fishermen Sh1.76 billion in compensation for the loss of fishing grounds due to the construction of the Lamu Port.
- About four years later, the fishermen complained about the delay in the compensation process
Over 4,000 fisherfolk who were affected by the construction of the multi-billion Lamu Port are now scheduled to receive their Sh1.76 billion compensation from KPA.
The Kenya Ports Authority on Monday said they have organised a two-day training for clerks, who will be collecting, verifying, and validating signatures from the 4,169 fisherfolk.
In 2018, the High Court sitting in Malindi awarded the fishermen Sh1.76 billion in compensation for the loss of fishing grounds due to the construction of the Lamu Port.
About four years later, the fishermen complained about the delay in the compensation process. They were last year promised they would get their dues before the August 9 general election, which didn't happen.
They had argued they had lost their livelihood due to the dredging activities around the port, which will have 23 berths upon completion.
The depth of the Lamu port, which is 17.5 metres, makes it ideal for handling large ships that cannot dock at the Port of Mombasa whose depth is 15 metres.
KPA senior officials are in Lamu county to ensure the process is concluded and all the fishermen are compensated.
In a statement, KPA said the two-day training of the clerks is being facilitated by their lawyers and aims to equip them with the necessary skills to ensure a smooth process.
Board chairman Benjamin Tayari will launch the verification exercise on Wednesday (today).
The clerks, according to KPA, will proceed to the field for one week between Thursday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 29.
KPA's corporate communication manager Bernard Osero, who is also the compensation committee co-chair, said they are looking forward to a smooth process.
He also thanked the fishermen for their patience and urged the clerks to be thorough and accurate during the verification.
“The clerks have been advised to insist on original identity cards and use the left-hand thumbprint in cases where beneficiaries are unable to sign on the agreement forms,” he said.
The sentiments were echoed by Beach Management Unit chairman Somo Somo and Mohamed Athman of Save Lamu, who assured KPA of their support for the successful conclusion of the exercise.
This comes just a day after the Lamu Port received its 19th vessel since it was operationalized on May 20, 2021, by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The container carrier MV Boston Trader, which has an overall length of 146.47 meters and sails under the flag of Liberia, was laden with 296 Zanzibar-bound full containers for discharge.
It was expected to load 407 transshipment containers for Zanzibar.
Senior operations officer at the Lamu Port Abdishukri Osman said the vessel was expected to depart Tuesday morning.
The Singaporean MV CAP Carmel was the first ship to dock at the Lamu Port on May 20, 2021, and was followed by MV Seago Bremerhaven the same day.
Last October, Kenya made its first shipment of live animals through the Port of Lamu.
Kenya Revenue Authority has said the country made Sh84 million from the first export consignment of animals, which included 11,200 goats and sheep and 200 bulls destined to the Port of Salalah, Oman.