The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) has issued a notice to absentee landowners who were yet to be compensated after their land was acquired by the government for the construction of the 400kV Kenya – Tanzania and 132kV Isinya – Namanga Transmission Lines.
According to the company, the 24 landowners had failed to honour previous notices issued prompting the government agency to proceed with the current plan.
KETRACO explained that the compensation has been ongoing since 2017 but the landowners failed to contact the company forcing them to issue the ultimatum.
A photo of employees from KETRACO at work
“Those who do not respond to the above will have their compensation set aside for payment when they present their claims for the same,” read part of the notice.
All landowners were asked to present proof of ownership of the affected land parcels before any compensation was paid.
The list of absentee landowners included individuals, agents, and real estate companies with land parcels of up to 4.6 acres in the region.
Each landowner shall receive compensation for limited loss of land use since KETRACO only acquires the right of way over the land. The owner however will not plant tall trees or erect storey buildings that exceed 12ft in height under the power line.
The transmission line will be traversing land parcels in Kajiado County and will cover a distance of 96 kilometres. It may extend to Namanga at the Kenya/Tanzania border.
In 2020, KETRACO asked over 50 landowners to claim their compensation which was part of the Ksh294 million disbursed by the state. The number of absentee landowners has reduced but the company is still calling on the remaining ones to reach out.
Of the affected landowners, approximately 125 of them had opposed the acquisition of their land but the High Court gave KETRACO the green light to continue construction.
Notably, the multi-million project between Kenya and Tanzania is intended to evacuate geothermal energy at Olkaria by connecting to the completed Olkaria-Suswa-Isinya transmission line.
The power line is also expected to reduce the cases of power outages in the country, a crisis that has interfered with day-to-day activities. It is also expected to offer cheaper electricity to Kenyans.
It is funded by the Exim Bank of India and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Kenya Power staff attending to a transformer during a past maintenance exercise in Nairobi County.