Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has denied claims by some Maasai leaders that they are being sidelined in the ongoing geothermal exploration projects in Olkaria Naivasha.
The power company termed the comments as untrue saying it has done everything possible to enlist the pastoralist community in the projects.
According to Kengen’s Director of Geothermal Resources Abel Rotich, the community has been involved in all the planning and execution of the projects.
Rotich said that the projects are carried under the supervision of a Stakeholder’s Coordination Committee (SCC) whose membership includes representatives from the Maasai community elected at the grassroots level.
“The Maasai community has over the time benefited from the projects and we have as a company made it our duty to see they live in a conducive environment better that we found them in”.
Rotich termed the new ultra modern houses, water dams and other social amenities built by the power generator as a testimony of the cordial relationship the company has had with the community over the years.
To this end, the director said the company has always devoted One Percent of the total profits to Community Social Responsibility and this has seen other communities benefit with social projects.
“The SCC that is led by the County Commissioner is mandated to identify projects of interests to all communities living in Naivasha and then forwards to Kengen for funding and subsequent implementation”.
Rotich noted that under the program, several schools, social halls and hundreds of students have benefited under the bursary scheme in the lake side area over time.
“We will continue to partner with all the communities and we are in the process of forming a new SCC that will look into issues affecting the community when the new Olkaria V project begins”.
The comments came barely three days after the Maasai community held a peaceful demonstration accusing Kengen of sidelining them in the projects.
Area leader Maenga Kisotu lashed out at some directors of Kengen for giving them a raw deal and failing to address their grievances.
“We fully support the government in the power project but some individuals are to blame and we are asking the president to intervene,” he said.