24 FEBRUARY 2015

kenyaOne person died and several others were injured after farmers took to the streets for the second day on Tuesday protesting the wind power project in Kinangop, Nyandarua county.

According to eye witnesses, the deceased was hit by a bullet when police shot in the air to disperse the irate farmers.

“The police officers resorted to using live bullets to disperse us after they realised that the tear gas canisters were not working,” he said.

The deceased was taken to Naivasha hospital mortuary.

Meanwhile, two suspects were arrested for burning a car and a house during the protests, which paralysed transport along the Naivasha- Nairobi highway on Monday evening.

The suspects – an old man and a teenager – were taken to Njabini police station for questioning.

Principal Secretary for Energy Joseph Njoroge visited the site and had a meeting with the local leaders, but they failed to resolve the issue.

Farmers vowed not to allow the Sh13billion project to go on, saying that the locals had not been sufficiently educated on its benefits.

The angry farmers accused their Member of Parliament Stephen Kinyanjui and an investor of the Kinangop Wind Park Project for signing the agreement with a few farmers.

Noah Wambugu, a farmer against the development, called it a ‘milking cow’ for a few individuals who were using the farmers to enrich themselves.

He said that they were ready to die in defending their rights and would not allow selfish people to take advantage of them, adding that hundreds of families in South Kinangop risked being evicted from their homes.

Another farmer James Kairu, said that the project had split the community into two groups and created unnecessary animosity.

He also blamed the area MP for the impasse saying that he had excluded majority of the farmers from the agreement, disregarding hundreds of other affected farmers.

Some of the protesters claimed that the project would cause health effects to the locals.

The protest comes after 38 families from Kinangop, Nyandarua County on whose plots the wind power project’s turbines will stand, signed agreements with the investor paving way for rolling out of the project.

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