Task force on Fluorspar compensation set to begin work

A Task Force comprising different government departments is set to begin work on the compensation of residents who lost their land following the establishment of the Fluorspar Mining Company in Keiyo South Sub County.

Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu said the task force, comprising officers from the Attorney General’s office, Ministries of Land, Environment, Mining and representatives of the county government would begin work on June 28th.

Speaking in Kimwarer during a meeting with wananchi, the CS said the National Land Commission would undertake land evaluation to determine how much would be paid per acre.

We are therefore calling on all residents to support the exercise and not to allow politicians to interfere with the compensation, Kazungu said.

The CS added that though the government had already set aside S billion for the exercise as announced by the President when he visited the area, the exact amount would be determined by the report from the task force.

He said that the government was discussing whether or not to renew the license of the company once it expires in March next year. The company has since closed.

County governor Alex Tolgos called on the government to use a report by a previous taskforce which had listed 1, 400 beneficiaries to guide the current compensation exercise.

We are also advising residents to buy shares once the company license is renewed so that they can also own the company, Tolgos said.

Locals called on the government to ensure that the company resumed operations saying the economy of the area collapsed since the company suspended its operations in April 30th last year.

A resident, Josephine Kipyego, said shops in the area closed down while thousands who were relying on the factory directly and indirectly lost their source of livelihood.

Many people who had taken loans on the strength of the company as a source of income are now living in fear of their properties being auctioned as they can no longer service them, Ms. Kipyego said.

Senator Kipchumba Murkomen called on residents who would be compensated to use the money wisely noting most recipients of the Embobut compensation programme ended up wasting their money.

Locals lost 9, 774 hectares when the company started operations 40 years go.

Source: Kenya News Agency