[VIDEO] Over 30,000 Malindi residents threaten to stop airport expansion plan

Chairman of Malindi Airport Residents Forum Peter Mungai (with mic) addresses journalists after a meeting at Ndugumnani, May 28, 2017. /ALPHONCE GARI
Chairman of Malindi Airport Residents Forum Peter Mungai (with mic) addresses journalists after a meeting at Ndugumnani, May 28, 2017. /ALPHONCE GARI

More than 30,000 residents in Malindi are opposed to the Sh5.6 billion expansion of the airport saying those affected have not be involved.

They questioned why the national government has started surveying land in the area without the consent of residents.

Speaking during a meeting called by representatives on Tuesday, they said they have obtained court orders barring KAA from surveying the land, adding they will not allow any works to continue.

"If it is compensation they need to agree on the price and should engage us directly, not through mediators who are out to con us," said Peter Mungai of the Malindi Airport Residents Forum.

He said cartels are trying take advantage of the project to enrich themselves against the poor squatters living in the area earmarked for expansion.


He noted that some tycoons have claimed ownership of the land and moved to the Kenya Airports Authority to seek compensation.

Mungai also accused KAA of trying to divide residents to weaken them.

"One time KAA tried to convince me but I told them to go to the ground and face the people," he said.

Early this year Malindi Airport Manager Walter Agong announced that the expansion will take place, adding that KAA is almost through with the first phase of the expansion of the airport.

The manager held consultative meetings with those occupying the area earmarked for development and urged them to cooperate with the surveyors who would be on the ground to mark the boundaries.

He said the ultramodern terminal building is already complete together with the new tower all which is fit with modern facilities required.

At the same time he said the new apron, modern car park, and security fence were 95 per cent complete.

“In our master plan we intend to make Malindi the best international airport, we are targeting the European market particularly the Italians, there has been a huge cry on the need to expand the airport,’’ he said.

Once complete he said the airport will be able to accommodate Airbus 319, 737 or 600 which can take off from Rome to Malindi nonstop.

For the airport to be expanded fully the manager said they require 259 hectares and the authorities have only 100.6 hectares, which means there was 159 hectares which should be acquired.

The national government had dispatched Sh300 million to compensate land owners and squatters within the south of the airport. This was to be done by the National Lands Commission by April this year.

However, the great challenge remains in expansion of the runway from 1.4 to 2.5 kilometres.

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