In Kenya, the energy secretary Charles Keter is faced with demands from over 1,800 homesteads that have strategically positioned their homes along a high-voltage transmission line, which is currently under construction.
The high-voltage line is connected to Africa’s largest wind farm, Lake Turkana wind farm, which once completed will produce 310MW of power.
The transmission line, which is said to deliver affordable power, has left homestead owners demanding $9,855 as compensation, Business Daily reported.
The wind farm is ahead of schedule with the first 102MW of power expected to come online next month.
According to the energy secretary, many of these families have strategically built their homesteads on the line route to reap a windfall from compensation.
Land compensations see delay in power supply
Keter highlighted that some demands lack substance as many of their dwellings are not near the value that they are demanding.
“Some people appeared from nowhere and demanded to be paid, for instance, Sh1 million [$9,855] and yet their structures are not anywhere near that value.”
Many communities will not be beneficiaries of the cheap power this year as the transmission line is still being constructed, with no connections from the national grid to northern Kenya, media reported.
According to media, Keter has called for policy change in wayleave compensation for public projects.
“The 428km high-voltage transmission line was approved in August 2014, but has been hit by land compensation headwinds in the areas it traverses such as Nyandarua, Laikipia and Marsabit, resulting in delays,” Business Daily reported.
Construction expected to pick up pace
According to the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco), which is overseeing the construction of the line, 52% of the project is completed with the balance set to be complete in December this year.
The power firm added that the completion date is dependent on the pace of claim settlement.
Media reported that Ketraco has to date spent an estimated $19.7 million in wayleave acquisition for the transmission line.