30,000 Families Risk Displacement in Govt Project

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    File image of Kenyans walking in a street in Nairobi
  • Residents of Rongai, Kabazi and Subukia, Nakuru county are facing displacement following scheduled construction of phase two of a Geothermal Development Company (GDC) project in the area.

    The residents, who held a meeting with the company and the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) on Sunday, December 13, 2020, opposed the proposed project citing displacement of over 30,000 families as the key reason.

    The meeting was held at Tulbowmoi Primary School and was chaired by Nakuru North Deputy County Commissioner Geoffrey Mayama.

    Residents of Ol Rongai, Kabazi and Subukia during a meeting with Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and NEMA on Friday 11, 2020.
    Residents of Ol Rongai, Kabazi and Subukia during a meeting with Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and NEMA on Friday 11, 2020.

    Led by Timothy Ng'etich, the locals also cited air pollution and health hazards as other reasons for opposing the development.

    "We are against this project for several reasons among them pollution, health hazards and displacement of people. We are not ready for," Ng'etich stated.

    The irate residents faulted GDC for submitting an Environmental Assessment Impact report to NEMA, alleging there was no public participation in the process.

    Officials from Sosiani Energy Company which is undertaking the project, however, defended the exploration stating that they had followed the due process.

    Kabazi MCA Peter Mbae, Kibet Komen, Nominated MP Sammy Seroney and Subukia MP Samuel Gachobe were among the leaders in attendance, also siding with the locals.

    Mbae alleged that residents of Rongai and Subukia had endured suffering attributed to the exploration projects by the geothermal companies in the area.

    “The only thing we as leaders can do is ensure the lives of our people are well taken care of. We cannot accept any project that is harmful to the people and that is why we are saying no to it,” Mbae remarked.

    Subukia legislator, Samuel Gachobe accused GDC of not seeking an opinion from area leaders and the locals with regard to the proposed project.

    “No opinion leader was invited and we cannot allow GDC to come and make our people suffer for the sake of the project,” Gachobe seconded.

    The meeting proceeds a serious of similar interventions between the two parties in the recent past, including on that was held on Friday, December 11, 2020.

    Kenya is ranked the seventh-largest producer of geothermal power across the globe.