Energy Based Involuntary Resettlement, Land Acquisition and Strategies for Livelihood Sustainability (Study of Bilateral Integration of Energy Transmission by Eastern Electricity Highway)
Okello, Michael O
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Kenyan land laws provide for compulsory acquisition and compensation but without a uniform National Resettlement Policy Framework to guide involuntary resettlement. This implies that in order to implement resettlement action plan (RAP), government agencies usually rely on legislation and international guidelines to prepare case specific resettlement policy with measurable performance targets. The study examined the socio economic impacts of Eastern Electricity Highway Project and public perception. Literature reviews and case studies show implementation gaps with reference to performance indicators that seek social inclusion, sustainability of livelihood and achievement of overall return to the government in energy expansion. It was hypothesized that, there is no significant relationship between resettlement and socio-economic status and quality of life resulting from resettlement activities and that, there is no relationship between performance targets and the outcomes such as participation, grievance redress, perceived satisfaction and compensation from the view point of the project affected persons. The study systematically sampled Nakuru, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Isiolo, Samburu, and Marsabit Counties on crossed by the project line from which Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit counties were selected randomly. Multistage sampling was used to select the sub-counties and wards crossed by the line. Three wards: Merille in Laisamis, Old-Onyiro in Longopito and Lodungokwe in Sessia were randomly selected from Marsabit, Isiolo and Samburu Counties respectively. The study targeted respondents (with key informants and Household heads) through open discussion meeting and interviews respectively. The target population in the three counties was 97 Household from which a sample size of 78 household heads was targeted. However, only 50 were reached. Data was collected through questionnaires, check lists, and participatory (active) observation. Descriptive statistics and Pearson’s Chi Square Test were used in data analysis and Hypothesis Testing. The study findings show unique challenges to both project implementers and the community. The socioeconomic system of host communities was culturally embedded in nomadic pastoralism, trade, hunting, fishing, tourism and traditional artwork. The project resulted into; change of distance and access to social services; disruption of communal settlement patterns; physical displacement of people; loss of structures, disturbance of native medicinal plants and traditional ritual sites. The affected families were however compensated including those whose land had no proper value; resulting to enhancement of quality of life as evidenced by increased disposable income, purchase of livestock, payment of school fees, starting of new business, construction of new houses and spending surplus in domestic needs. There were gains from corporate social initiatives (schools, latrines, water pans) done on needs assessment and job opportunities to youths. There was increased reliability of the project with the hope of increase in electricity output to the national grid. However, the study elicited some performance gaps, namely; fair and full compensation, engagement and active participation of local community, grievance redress on compensation and valuation matters were not fully realized to locals’ satisfaction. The project implementers had to grapple with slow disbursement of project funds by the National treasury, high demands for compensations and resistance by communities, increased costs due to land price appreciation, time-lapse between clearance of wayleaves and construction phases. The Company however addressed the issues by carrying out re-sensitization, negotiation for better prices and revaluation of assets based on ‘prevailing values’ with a proposal of reviewing Resentment Policy. The study recommends that prior to resettlement, formation of working groups that prioritize grass root sensitization and engagement of host communities and relevant offices including Lands Directorates of the respective counties. There should be timely budgetary allocation and disbursement of project funds to ensure full and timely valuation, compensation and relocation of project affected persons. Moreover, there should be inclusive and reliable grievance redress and performance evaluation working groups. Valuers should be keen on sentimental aspects, special use, intangible value attached to traditional artifacts, unique cultural land uses besides cost and comparable market sales approaches to asset valuation. The current Resettlement Policy and related national statutes should be reviewed to schedule assets valuation, full compensation and livelihood support services immediately after wayleave clearance before construction phase to save on losses and huge costs (to both the project implementers and communities) associated with lapsing in time and appreciation in land values. The institutions for higher learning and research centres should carryout studies and recommend to relevant stakeholders best strategic policy practices.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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