Residents Want More Pay for the Thwake Dam Land

A private land valuer will be hired by the 1,641 families to be displaced by a dam to get them fair compensation.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after a stakeholders meeting at the Maanzoni Hotel in Machakos.

Ward representatives and residents’ representatives said the Sh100,000 compensation for an acre was “gross undervaluation”.

They said some fruit trees were undervalued by a valuer hired by the Tanathi Water Services Board.

The Sh20 billion Thwake Dam, a Vision 2030 flagship project, will be put up where the Athi River and seasonal Thwake River meet.

It will displace residents in Makueni and Kitui counties.

MCAs Martin Mutuku of Kanyangi and Nzuki Wambua of Mavindini said their electorates will only get a fair deal if they have their own independent valuer.

Tanathi CEO Nicholas Muthui said residents are justified to hire their own valuer.

He said they will reach an agreement for the project to commence.

Muthui said while fresh valuation gets underway, officers from Makueni and Kitui counties will offer technical assistance to ensure rates of payment are acceptable.

He said residents will be compensated as soon as an agreement is reached.

Muthui said they will ensure the African Development Bank-supported project is implemented soon.

The dam will also be used for electricity generation and providing residents with water.