Around the end of last year, many property owners were rendered homeless and property worth millions destroyed for having invaded the Kenya Power wayleave in an operation dubbed “Ondokea Laini.”
Real estate investment is lucrative, but before committing to pay your hard earned cash, you will need to do proper due diligence. Purchasing land is a long-term commitment, one that should be done with lots of care. When looking to buy land, you want to make sure the documentation is legit and that you are not being scammed.
This article offers you a guide of what a wayleave is so that you as a land buyer can avoid buying into it.
What is a wayleave?
The Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd – KENTACO defines a wayleave as the right of way over the land of another. The right of way is for carrying sewer lines, Power line, or pipeline through, over, or under any land. All this is provided for in the Wayleave Act Cap 292 and Energy Act of 2006.
In Kenya, wayleaves last for the life of the intended use, which in most cases is in perpetuity. You need to understand that a wayleave is a statutory right that grants Kenya Power, the rights to install its electricity lines and other equipment on, over, or under private land.
A wayleave is often registrable as an easement, which makes it specifically described and defined. When land is earmarked as a wayleave, it often means that the owner of the land has accepted to its right of way by the holder of the easement.
It, therefore, means that he or she omits to do some activity or accepts some activities to be done on the land.
In most part of the county, wayleaves are corridors of about 25 to 180 feet’s where electric utilities purchase the right of way or easement.
Wayleaves are to be kept clear of vegetation and any other obstructions that could hinder the construction, operation, and maintenance of electricity lines.
Acceptable uses on a wayleave
If for any reasons you agree to purchase land where there is an easement, you need to check to confirm that what you seek to do on the land is compatible with electricity.
Therefore, to be on the safe side, any activity you do must ensure that repair crews have access to the wayleave when doing their work. You must also allow sufficient clearance to allow for sag when lines are carrying maximum current.
KETRACO says, “As long as minimum clearances from poles and guy wires are maintained, most rights of way can be used for yards, gardens, pastures, and farming. In addition, with a written agreement with the affected utility, the land could possibly be used for recreational fields, streets, roads, driveways, parking lots, lakes, ponds, fences, drainage ditches, fills and grading.
Prohibited uses generally include pools, aircraft runways, and taxiways, permanent structures (including manufactured homes), septic tanks, dumps, junkyards, wells, signs taller than 10 feet, fueling or fuel storage facilities, garbage, and recycling receptacles and outdoor lighting not owned by an electric utility. Lines and equipment of other utilities – including sewer, water, gas, electric distribution, telephone, cable TV, and railroads”