We deserve equal pay, Isiolo landowners tell NSL on 83bn project

Some land owners in Isiolo have blamed the National Land Commission (NLC) over unfairness in the proposed compensation for people who will be affected by construction of the Sh83.7 billion World Bank Horn of Africa Gateway Development project funded by.

The Isiolo-Modogashe-Mandera road project that traverses Isiolo, Meru, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera is set to open the Northern region to trade and development upon completion, .

Some 135 kilometres from Isiolo town via Kulamawe to Modogashe will be tarmacked with residents living within the stretch lamenting over discrimination by NLC.

Former councillor Hussein Abduba said it was unfortunate that lower rates had been offered to Isiolo residents while their Garissa neighbours got thrice more.

“Our friends from the Garissa side have been offered higher terms for the same structures in the affected pieces of land especially at Modogashe but our people are getting little compensation,” he lamented.

Mr Abduba also faulted NLC’s decision to only compensate the locals for the structures, saying the government should consider allocating those affected alternative land to build home and even develop.

“The land and structures built on the pieces of land should be jointly compensated because the buildings could not have existed without them. Those whose land will be picked through compulsory acquisition should be given alternative pieces to reconstruct,” he added.
The group said they have not been given any form of compensation six months since they were instructed to vacate their buildings to pave way for the project subjecting many families to untold suffering.

They also decried biasness in recruitment by the local contractor saying many of the workers had been outsourced from other counties while they had qualified youths.

“They are even hiring vehicles from other counties while we have enough that could have been hired in the spirit of empowering the local communities,” said Osman Dima.

The locals threatened to hold peaceful protests if their concerns are not speedily addressed, demandeding for fairness and involvement in the ongoing project.

“We have given NLC seven days to address our grievances failure to which we will march to President William Ruto’s office to seek his intervention,” Ibrahim Diba said.

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