Lobbies vow to renew battle against Sh200bn Lamu coal project
What you need to know:
- Activists and local leaders have been engaging the government, seeking to stop the establishment of the project, which has been termed fatal to human and environmental health.
- They say they will support any other clean energy project set up in the region.
- Activists who have in the past opposed the project, have found themselves at the mercy of the military and police, who are said to have harassed and intimidated them.
Activists, religious leaders, elders, youth and women groups in Lamu County have vowed to unite and wage a fierce battle against the proposed Sh200 billion coal-fired power plant.
The project under Amu Power Company, a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investments, is set to be established at Kwasasi Village, Lamu West.
So far, 975 acres of land have been set aside for the establishment of the project, which is expected to generate 1,050 megawatts of power upon completion.
But activists and local leaders have been engaging the government, seeking to stop the establishment of the project, which has been termed fatal to human and environmental health.
Speaking during an end year meeting at the Mwana Arafa Hotel conference hall on Sunday, the opponents announced a renewed resolve in their opposition towards what they referred to as a "killer project", vowing not to back down until the investor is sent away from Lamu.
However, they said they will support any other clean energy project set up in the region.
Activists in Lamu, who have in the past opposed the project, have found themselves at the mercy of the military and police, who are said to have harassed and intimidated them.
A recent report by the Human Rights Watch and the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders-Kenya indicated that at least 35 activists who have voiced their opposition for upcoming mega infrastructure and transport projects in Lamu have reported having faced threats, arbitrary arrests, beatings and illegal detentions at the hands of the police and military.
But speaking on Sunday, Save Lamu Chair Mohamed Abubakar said they remain undeterred in their quest to rid the county of the 'deadly project'.
Mr Abubakar said they are planning a massive anti-coal campaign early next year, noting that it will close the lid on any efforts to push for the establishment of the project in Lamu.
“We have come together to discuss all issues affecting our region, particularly the issue of the proposed coal power plant," he said.
"Let it be known that we are united in campaigning against the hazardous project. We are renewing our resolve towards stopping the establishment of the plant. We will win because we stand for the truth unlike those who want the project for money."
He added, “2019 will be intense since we intend to send our message clearer than ever before. We are not scared of what the government thinks, but our mission is to ensure green energy is being used to generate electricity instead of the poisonous coal plant."
Lamu Council of Elders chair, Sharif Salim, said it’s unwise for the government to push for the establishment of the "deadly project" despite the loud opposition from activists, local leaders and residents.