The government has assured fishermen displaced by dredging activities during the construction of the Lamu port that they will be compensated before the August 8 General Election.
In May 2018, the Malindi High Court awarded 4,734 fishermen Sh1.76 billion compensation after they were displaced by the construction of the Sh310 billion Lamu port at Kililana area.
The fishermen had argued that they would no longer be able to carry on with their activities due to dredging activities.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) head of corporate affairs Bernard Osero, speaking in Lamu at a meeting held to deliberate on the claims, said the agency has set aside funds to pay the fishermen.
“The only remaining thing is finalising the court clearance and consent forms before kick-starting the compensation process…KPA has the cash to carry out the compensation,” Mr Osero said on Wednesday.
The meeting brought together representatives of the affected fishermen, their lawyers, KPA lawyers and officials, and national government representatives.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia said all pending issues that had led to the delay in the release of the cash had been cleared.
Mr Macharia said all the conflicting sides had reached a consent and that individual fishermen will be receiving their compensation before the August elections.
“There were some issues with the Lapsset lawyers and lawyers from KPA on how the Lamu fishermen will be paid. There is the bit that directs the fishermen to receive 65 percent direct compensation while 35 percent geared towards fishing activity sustainability. All in all, both sides have reached an agreement,” said Mr Macharia.
The fishermen's representative Mohamed Somo expressed their satisfaction following the resolution of the matter.
Mr Somo said so far, 4,167 beneficiary fishermen's bank account details have been submitted to KPA and that they were finalising the verification of 500 other accounts.