March 24, 2017… 147 residents of Thange Valley in Kibwezi East Constituency have begun receiving compensation from the Kenya Pipeline Company in relation to a 2015 oil leak on its aging 39 year old pipeline. The compensation began in earnest after KPC’s insurer CIC insurance finalized assessments on the first batch of claims made by 278 residents. The process kicked off on the 23rd of March after a public baraza between KPC’s insurer CIC insurance and residents chaired by Kibwezi Deputy County Commissioner Patrick Murira.
The first batch of compensation vouchers valued at over Kshs. 13.8 Million is in relation to Livestock losses. Residents of Thange Valley had made claims in four major categories namely Livestock losses, Crop losses, Medical expenses and Water expenses. CIC’s investigators and assessors finalized assessment on Livestock losses and are still undertaking assessments on the other three categories as well as additional claims on livestock losses.
The 147 residents who received the first batch of compensation vouchers will begin redeeming their vouchers after five days. KPC’s insurer CIC insurance began on ground assessments on crop losses on the 14th of March to establish the compensation cost per acre after which the affected resident will be issued with compensation vouchers. This means that of the 278 claims lodged by residents only 131 claims are yet to be evaluated for payment. KPC has over the last two years spent over Ksh 22million in support of the community through the provision of clean water, food aid, and bursaries while awaiting the rollout of the compensation process.
The ageing Nairobi-Mombasa pipeline passes through Thange. The 14-inch Mombasa-Nairobi pipeline was constructed in 1978 and has been in operation for 39 years, way beyond its 25 year useful life.
Being the only pipeline that feeds the country and its neighbours, it has to be kept in operational state through constant repairs and inspection.
But the 450km Mombasa – Nairobi pipeline is currently being replaced to meet the region’s future petroleum needs. The new line, a Vision 2030 Shs 48 billion project, will include fire-fighting systems in new stations, installing energy efficient equipment and pipeline monitoring technology to ensure easy spotting of damages on the line.
The project is well underway and will be ready for commissioning this year. The new pipeline will improve the safety, reliability and efficient delivery of product to KPC’s customers and reduce the losses and damages caused by spillage on the current 14” Mombasa -Nairobi pipeline.