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Parties seek to end Lake Turkana wind power project row

Land owners who want a Sh75 billion Lake Turkana wind power project halted and the company involved have been given three more months to seek a solution out of court.

Meanwhile, the High Court in Meru, which is handling a case filed by the land owners, who are Marsabit residents, allowed Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd to use 87.5 of the 150ha of the contested land until the matter is concluded.

The court, which had on April 20 given the parties until Monday to negotiate an out-of-court settlement, extended the period after they failed to agree.

Environment and Land Court Judge Peter Njoroge directed the parties to report the progress to court on November 9.

The Marsabit residents asked the court to halt the project claiming the power firm had taken their land without consulting them and they were not compensated.

The Attorney-General, the Chief Land Registrar, the Marsabit county government and the National Land commission are the defendants.

The county government’s lawyer, Mr Abdi Hassan, said the project was ongoing and was aimed at helping to develop infrastructure.

“As the Marsabit County government, we request for an immediate ruling of the case because we are under pressure from the residents who need to be compensated,” he said.

He added that if the case does not end soon, the county government would have to terminate its agreement with Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd that allowed the firm to acquire more land for expansion.

The project is expected to inject 310 megawatts to the national grid.