The County Government of Garissa is ready to work closely with Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Development Authority (LCDA) and other stakeholders in the actualization of the mega flagship project in the region.
County Secretary Mr. Abdi M. Ali said the Government stood for the community-centered compensation scheme in the implementation of the multi-billion shillings project.
The County Secretary was speaking during a leaders’ meeting called by Acting LCDA Chief Operating Officer, Maina Kiondo at the Authority’s Chester House Head Office, Nairobi.
Abdi called on the elected leaders to work with the County Government for better service delivery in the project implementation.
In the recent past, Garissa Governor H.E. Ali Korane has disagreed with LCDA officials about the implementation of the project in Garissa after the Authority dispatched surveyors in the field even before signing any agreement with the County Government.
The Governor cited the Community Land Act section 6 sub-section 1-4 which provides that county governments should hold in trust all unregistered land in their jurisdiction on behalf of the community.
The Act further provides that county governments shall receive any monies paid as compensation for the use of such land and place it in a special bank account to be released to the community after the land is registered.
Speaking in Garissa town recently, Governor Korane said his administration was not consulted before LCDA dispatched the surveyors and wondered under whose authority the officials were surveying the land.
Korane said that land in Garissa County and North Eastern, in general, is communal and is being held in trust by the respective counties.
The Governor expressed concern that his administration is yet to sign any contractual agreement with the LAPSET project as it ought to have been the case.
“Land is a devolved function and all departments that deal with land are under the County Government. The LAPSSET project should, therefore, engage the County Government through the relevant departments on the land they intend to use for the project,” Korane said.
In October last year, the Governor met the Director of the Kenya Ports Authority, Col. (Rtd) Conrad Thorpe, and representatives from KPA, LAPSSET, KRA, and Critical Infrastructure Police Unit (CIPU) where he reiterated the need for compensation of communally owned land before the project proceeds.
Col. Thorpe described Garissa as “strategically placed” to facilitate trade not just from North Eastern Kenya but the whole of the Somali Republic.
The project component comprises a railway line, oil pipeline, and a tarmac road and will pass through Garissa-Isiolo counties all the way to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia.
The County Secretary was accompanied by LAPSSET County Co-ordinator, Hassan Mohamud Haji.
Others present included Raymond Ogalo, Principal Physical Planner, LAPSSET, and Eng Jacob Mwakio, Director Utilities & Infrastructure.
The meeting was attended by Garissa Senator, Hon. Abdul Haji, Township MP Hon. Aden Duale, Hon. Sofia Abdi (Ijara),
Hon. Mohamed Hire (Lagdera ), Hon. Abdikarim Osman (Fafi) and Hon Dr. Mohamed Dahiye Duale (Dadaab).