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NLC spent Sh20bn to payout people affected by road projects

The commission received Sh23 billion from various acquiring bodies for compensation

In Summary
  • Majority of the projects handled by the commission were on transport infrastructure (64 per cent) followed by water (32 per cent)
  • Payment is still ongoing for the lands acquired by the various bodies
The Western Bypass will complete the city's ring road
The Western Bypass will complete the city's ring road
Image: Charlene Malwa

National Land Commission used Sh20.76 billion to compensate people whose land was compulsorily acquired by national and county governments for various projects during 2020/21 financial year.

In an annual report, the commission said it received Sh23.17 billion from various acquiring bodies to be issued to Project Affected Persons during the year under review.

“During the period, majority of the projects handled by the commission were on transport infrastructure (64 per cent) followed by water (32 per cent),” the report said.

The report indicated that payment is still ongoing for the lands acquired by the various bodies.

Compulsory land acquisition is based on Article 40 (3) of the Bill of Rights, which permits the state to take someone’s property for public use or in the public interest in exchange for fast and full payment of just compensation.

Under Section 107 (1) of the Land Act 2012, the commission is mandated to acquire such land on behalf of the national or county government and to implement the acquisition in line with the constitution.

During the year under review, the acquiring bodies included Kenya Railways, Athi Water Works Development Agency, Kenya Water Harvesting and Storage Authority, Kenya National Highways Authority and LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority.

LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority acquired 197, 285 hectares, Kenya National Highways Authority (1,110 hectares), Athi Water Works Development Agency (617 hectares), Kenya Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (864 hectares) and Kenya Railways (264 hectares).

The projects include the Nairobi Expressway, Rironi-Mau Summit road, Nairobi Western Bypass, LAPSSET Corridor and Ancillary facilities project, Kibwezi-Mutomo-Kitui-Kabati-Migwani road, Eldoret By-pass road, Soin-Koru Multipurpose Dam, Thwake Multi-purpose Dam, SGR Access roads and Naivasha ICD Longonot Station MGR Link.

The report named several achievements by the commission in the year under review.

They included the launch and adoption of the Strategic Plan (2021-2026), issuance and verification of 293 allotment letters and facilitation of acquisition of land for key public projects for the Big 4 Agenda.

Despite the successes, NCL said the year was arguably the most challenging in recent history.

“Majorly, inadequate funding adversely affected the commission’s ability to carry out its mandate. Constant changes in various laws were also a significant impediment to the commission’s operations,” the report stated.

“The other challenge worth highlighting is the Covid-19 pandemic whose outbreak almost crippled the commission’s operations.”

In the 2020/2021 Financial Year, the commission received Sh1.12 billion from the exchequer against budgetary estimates of Sh4.595 billion (24.4 per cent of the budgetary estimates).

“As a result, the commission could not efficiently carry out all its key activities. Precisely, this issue of inadequate finances implies that the commission could not adequately fund its decentralised units, conduct a baseline survey on land use status, enhance school titling programme and monitor the registration of land rights and interests,” the report noted.

It added that the commission plans to work with relevant stakeholders, especially Parliament and National Treasury to address the matter.

 “Moreover, the commission will enhance its resource mobilisation efforts to complement government funding,” the report stated.

The report further noted that the commission intends to construct county offices across the country.

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