Government stepping in on dispute between locals and project in Kenya
Kenyan government representatives stepping in on dispute of locals with developer of geothermal project near Naivasha, Kenya, raising concerns about ongoing threats to much needed investments.
Disputes with locals, mostly on demands for job opportunities and compensation are rather common surrounding geothermal projects in Kenya. Now the government has stepped in on a dispute on the Longonot project in Naivasha.
The government has assured the project company that operations will continue despite interruptions by communities in the area and has stepped into the dispute.
Locals have continuously disrupted operations, demanding job opportunities and compensation and also included farmers in the area. In a recent meeting held, the sub-county commissioner of the area explicitly warned the community to leave the project alone.
The stakes of geothermal development are high given the large investments made by the private investor and projects like this help the whole country by bringing down power prices. Threatening investors is not helpful, so the government representative.
There are now efforts being made on compensation for people affected by the project and local community representatives will be involved in negotiations with the company.
But – and this was also made clear – “Action will be taken against all those involved in blocking the ongoing work by the investor and it’s time we respected private property.”