Farmers in fight for better payout deals

Some farmers in Gatanga constituency of Murang’a county have decried poor compensation for cash crops destroyed during implementation of the Northern Water Collector Tunnel.

The farmers said their crops, including tea and coffee bushes, were damaged when the contractor dug trenches in their farms to install pipes, to increase water volumes in Ndakaini Dam.

Residents now want the National Land Commission (NLC) to make public the valuation report it compiled on farms, which were to be affected by the project.

They said Sh2,000 and Sh4,000 paid as compensation for each coffee and tea bush, respectively, was inadequate, considering the huge expenses incurred while managing the farms.

Led by Simon Njoroge, the farmers demanded an explanation from the commission on how they arrived at the valuation figures, claiming their properties have been grossly undervalued.

“Gatanga residents are not against the government project but if better compensation is not done, some of us will be engulfed in poverty as we solely rely on our farms,” he added.

The farmers said the project should be stopped until the affected residents get better deals. The Sh6.4 billion tunnel is funded by the World Bank. 

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