KAA seeks Ksh4.3 billion to acquire land for Malindi Airport expansion

The Kenya Airports Authority is seeking about Ksh 4.3 billion shillings to acquire land for the expansion of the Malindi International Airport in Kilifi County.

Airport Manager Ramadhan Karama asked the National Assembly to intervene and help speed up the disbursement of the funds to execute a squatter resettlement plan that will pave way for phase two of the expansion programme.

Speaking at the airport when he hosted members of the National Assembly’s Transport, Public Works and Housing Committee Friday, Mr. Karama said the continued delay in the disbursement of the funds will make it more expensive for the government to implement the project since the value of land in the area was appreciating very fast.

“The land we wish to acquire is privately owned and is full of squatters. There have been a lot of buildings coming up on the earmarked land, something we cannot stop because the land does not belong to KAA.

“If we continue delaying in settling the existing squatters, it will be more expensive to do so as many more people are flocking the area and erecting expensive building, and this is likely to push the compensation bill higher,” he told the committee led by Vice Chairperson Gathoni wa Muchomba.

He explained that the Ksh 4.85 billion required would be used to compensate legal land owners.

The Kenya Airports authority plans to, among others, extend the main runway to the north from the current 1.4 kilometres to 2.4 kilometres to allow large planes such as the Airbus to land with ease saying it will also boost tourism in Malindi, Watamu and Mambrui.

Mr. Karama said during phase one of the compensation programme, the amount of money paid to squatters more than doubled in a span of five years following the delay to compensate the squatters.

Ms Wa Muchomba, who was accompanied by committee members Ali Wario (Garsen), Dominic Kipkoech Koskey (Sotik) and Ahmen Bashane Gaal (Tarba), said her committee is keen to see the expansion of the airport but called on KAA and the NLC to be truthful in handling the issues delaying the project.

“Your success is our success, hence the need for you to tell us the truth about the real problems, as some people affected in phase one of the resettlement plan are still claiming not to have been paid,” Ms Wa Muchomba said.

She urged the NLC not to overvalue land meant for government projects as it had done in other areas in the country so that the government concentrates on infrastructure development without having to unnecessary spend huge amounts of money in compensation.

 

  

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