Gura
Gura Hydro Power
Hydro Power
Kenya Tea Development Agency
KTDA
KTDA Nyeri Regional
Moses Sikuku
Napier
Nyeri
Peter Kinyua
River Gura
Simon
Theuri Mwangi
Westlands

Residents demand Sh20m pay as KTDA canal overflow destroys Nyeri tea farms

The Sh1.7 billion hydropower canal broke its banks eroding farms to River Gura following heavy rains in the county Friday. Gura Hydro Power project is owned by Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) and generates 5.8 megawatts supplied to four factories and at least 3MW is sold to the national grid.KTDA Nyeri Regional Chairman Peter Kinyua said valuation would be conducted immediately to determine the damage caused with the aim of compensation. However, Mr Moses Sikuku, the agency’s regional engineer said the farms were responsible for the blockage of the canal that led to the overflow of water.

A section of the KTDA’s Gura hydro power project in Nyeri, February 10, 2018. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Tea farmers are demanding Sh20 million compensation from the Kenya Tea Development Agency after overflow from its hydropower canal destroyed plantations in Nyeri. The Sh1.7 billion hydropower canal broke its banks eroding farms to River Gura following heavy rains in the county Friday.“This is the third time this canal is causing the tea agency has remained mum on the issue. We have never been compensated,” said Mr Theuri Mwangi, a farmer whose farm was swept away.The farms are also demanding that the tea agency buys their lands since they can no longer be irrigated.

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“Tea leaves are gone, Napier for my cows is gone too. There is nothing I can do with the farms now hence the need for KTDA to buy our land,” he added.The seven-kilometre canal has affected at least three farms, eroding at least two acres of land in each homestead.“We are calling for investigations into this canal so that they can mitigate a similar ordeal in the future,” said Mr Simon Thiong’o another farmer.Gura Hydro Power project is owned by Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) and generates 5.8 megawatts supplied to four factories and at least 3MW is sold to the national grid.KTDA Nyeri Regional Chairman Peter Kinyua said valuation would be conducted immediately to determine the damage caused with the aim of compensation. He further stated that power production had been stopped as the first mitigation measure until those affected by the landslide are sorted out.However, Mr Moses Sikuku, the agency’s regional engineer said the farms were responsible for the blockage of the canal that led to the overflow of water.“What has happened has exposed our canal but we are meeting the committee, sensitising all those in landslide prone areas can evacuate to safer grounds,” he said.He also said they are in the process of acquiring the land from the farmers where the canal has cut through.

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