Olkaria residents demonstrate against kengen’s Olkaria v project


A group of Maasai’s from Olkaria demonstrated at the office of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to show their disappointment with Kengen Managing Director Simon Ngure for overseeing Olkaria v project knowing that it is negatively affecting the residents.

The residents who claim to have tried talks with Kengen to no avail now want JICA and any other financiers to stop funding the project until the problem is resolved

The angry residents claim that the project is affecting sanitation in the area and the gasses emitted are affecting mostly their children and the elderly, some of whom have already lost their lives as a result of the effects of the project

The Olkaria residents claim that the gas emitted during the drilling has also made their some of the women barren adding that is also affecting the graves of their loved ones as it passes straight across their land

They also claim that the project is blocking access to their homes as no vehicles can now reach the homestead as a result of the ditches

The group has threatened to take the matter before court if Kengen does not hold talks that will result to a solution with them

The youths in the area also threaten to attack Ngure when he goes there to oversee the project. They say that Kengen has ignored them because they did not even offer them jobs, rather they brought people from places such as Mai Mahiu and Kinangop to come sand work there

They allege that Ngure is heartless does not value their lives because they are a Maasai community. They say they will not allow Kengen to move them again from their homes

The construction of the 140mw Olkaria V geothermal project kicked off late last year.

The power producer expects to inject an extra 300 to 450 megawatts of power to the national grid in the next three years as the country starts to enjoy more stabilized fuel costs charges and green energy. Kengen says that the 65 percent reduction in FCC in the past six months – from August’s Sh7.22 to last month’s Sh2.51 per kilowatt hour – is a pointer to better days ahead.