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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Loldaiga Fire Victims Demand Ksh 150 Billion

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Loldaiga residents in Laikipia county want the British government to pay Ksh 150 billion for the damage caused by a fire started by its soldiers in March 2021.

The Loldaiga community and environmental lobby – Africa Center For Corrective Action (ACCA) on Friday presented compensation claims from 5531 individuals to the British High Commission legal representatives in Nairobi.

The two parties had sued the British army following the fire in a legal battle that saw the British troops lose absolute immunity, placing them under direct jurisdiction of Kenyan courts in civil suits.

The Loldaiga community is demanding Ksh 150 billion as compensation for personal injury, health complications and property loss.

Our claims tell a story of historical environmental injustices meted out to our people by the British Army. They have been training in Loldaiga area , which is not even a gazetted training area, for over two decades against the environmental rights of our people.

ACCA

Similarly, ACCA wants Britain to pay Ksh 100 billion for the environmental damage caused by the fire over more than 10000 acres of Loldaiga hills.

We have faced frustrations, intimidation and blackmail but have endured. More than 50 petitioners have died in the process. But today we submitted our claims and this marks the beginning of an intense journey in the fight for environmental justice

ACCA Chair, James Mwangi

A fortnight ago the United Kingdom (UK) claimed that the wild fire was caused by a paraffin stove belonging to one of its soldiers.

The Loldaiga conservancy

It is about 49000 acres of hilly bushland with a backdrop of the ice capped Mount Kenya – is part of the Laikipia plateau , where hundreds of thousands of acres was seized by the British during the colonial era, leading to land disputes which continue to this day.

It is just 70 kilometers from Lewa conservancy , where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in November 2010.


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