Maasai elders in Naivasha have now admitted that the ongoing row between a splinter group from the community and Kengen is affecting the upcoming Olkaria VI power project.
The elders have moved in to resolve the differences between the group and the power generating company so that the 260mw geothermal project in Olkaria can continue.
Last week, the splinter handed a petition to Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) which is funding the project saying that the community was not involved.
According to the elders’ spokesman Lila ole Mututwa, the differences had adversely affected the multi-billion project which would benefit the whole country.
The former Suswa councillor in Narok county said they had held meetings with all the groups involved with a view of seeking a lasting solution.
“The main problem is representation in the stakeholders coordination committee and the community has decided on who their representatives are,” he said.
Flanked by the elders, Lila said that the community had for years benefitted from the power generating company in terms of education, water and infrastructure.
He noted that over 150 students from the community had been supported in their secondary and university education and some of them had been employed by Kengen.
“We all agree that Kengen has assisted the Maasai community in Olkaria and Suswa with various projects and it’s unfair to now spit at the hand that feeds you,” he said.
Lila called on those opposing the project to rethink their stand adding that once complete the power project would benefit the whole country with the cost of electricity coming down.
Another elder, John ole Ngamisile, said that the community was fully behind the project which would transform the area and offer job opportunities to the youths.
He said that those opposed to the project had benefited in past works and wanted to lock out other members of the community from the Olkaria V project.
“We know very well the group that is seeking donor support is interested in their own selfish deeds and we as the majority are fully behind this project,” he said.
For the last two months, a group of Maasais have come out opposing the project saying that they were not involved in the formation of the SCC an allegation Kengen has denied.