Plans for the long-awaited compensation for the affected fishers during the construction of the first berth of the Port of Lamu, have been finalized.
According a statement Friday, the compensation of 4,734 fishers will commence once the fishermen provide the bank account details and their lawyers have executed the consent letter required to be filed in court.
This comes after LAPSETT Chairpersons committee met this week and approved the recommendations made by the Fishermen Compensation Task Force earlier on this month.
According to the committee, the compensation exercise has taken too long to be concluded after the Lamu County Fisher Folks filed in court a Petition challenging among other issues the environmental impact to their fishing brought about by the construction of the Port as captured in the government Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the construction of the 1st three berths of Lamu Port.
“In the meantime, a consent note which has been agreed by all parties shall be filed in court to bring to a close the legal proceedings to hasten the compensation exercise.” Said the committee
The Fishers through the Beach Management Units (Beach Management Units) leadership and the County government have been asked to ensure that they have submitted their correct bank accounts to ease payments of cash compensation.
“In the lead up to the operationalization of the first berth of the port of Lamu, the need to conclude the compensation before completion and operationalisation of the works on the 1st three berths was prioritized. Accordingly, the task force on fishermen compensation task force was reconstituted and facilitated to complete the process of identifying the list of 4734 beneficiaries as outlined in the Lamu County report tabled in the High Court. A total of Kshs. 1, 760, 424,000.00 shall be utilized to compensate the Fishers in cash and for sustainability projects.” said Ag. Managing Director, Rashid K. Salim.
Kenya Ports Authority as the project proponent facilitated and embarked on a two-week exercise running from 25th April to 8th May 2021 that entailed verifying and validating 4,734 fisher folks who will be compensated as stipulated in the adopted report presented to the court.
Following the meetings in Lamu, the Task Force planned a one-week workshop in Watamu from 3rd May to 7th May 2021 to finalize on all items needed to progress compensation to the fishers.
The Agenda for the Watamu workshop entailed; Verification and Compilation of the Final List of Fishers for compensation, negotiation on the fishers’ proposed breakdown of compensation items, identification of the entity to undertake compensation, and agreement on a consent note on compensation of fishermen.
At the end of the verification process, the final list of 4734 fishers to receive compensation was arrived at and was signed by the BMU leadership and the Lamu County government.