In East Africa, Kenyan firm Kenwind Holdings in partnership with Belgian renewable energy company Electrawinds and the World Bank are to construct a 90MW wind power project in Mpeketoni, Lamu County.
According to the Daily Nation, Kenwind Holdings director, Susan Nandwa, highlighted that this wind power project has experienced some difficulties, explaining that they were forced to change the location of the proposed site due changes in wind speed.
Kenwind Holdings promises compensation
Nandwa was addressing farmers in Mpeketoni, explaining the purpose of changing the location as the company had terminated a few leases with the farmers in Baharini.
[quote]“Let me assure you that as Kenwind Holdings we will ensure those who will be affected by the project, for the years they have remained loyal to the company they will be rewarded before we sign the final lease agreement.
“This is a very important project, which will attract investors from all over the nation and the world at large,” she noted.
Commenting on the development, one of the farmers who will be affected by the project at the Baharini settlement, Isaac Gitau, said: “We welcome the project. It is a blessing for us. It has a lot of bonuses including creation of employment for our children.
He continued: “The investor has also promised to set up a Sh40 million ($3.9 million) trust fund, which will be geared towards assisting the needy and less fortunate among us.”
Wind power project opposed
Local media reported that the project has been subjected to opposition in Lamu county government led by deputy governor Eric Mugo, which resulted in a number of people going to court to stop the developer from acquiring land in the area for the project.
However, farmers from the area have demanded that the cases be withdrawn to allow the investor to compensate them and implement the project.
Lorence Chokera, a county government representative, stated that if farmers are in agreement with the investor they have no objection.
“We don’t have a choice if the farmers are after the project. We will work based on the interest of the people of Lamu,” Chokera said.