Counties

Mwembe Tayari residents in court to stop Safaricom from erecting base station

Some residents in Mombasa are seeking a permanent injunction barring Safaricom Ltd #ticker:SCOM from erecting a base trans-receiver station on a parcel of land in Mwembe Tayari.
Safaricom House in Westlands, Nairobi. Some residents in Mombasa are seeking a permanent injunction barring Safaricom Ltd #ticker:SCOM from erecting a base trans-receiver station on a parcel of land in Mwembe Tayari. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Some residents in Mombasa are seeking a permanent injunction barring Safaricom Ltd #ticker:SCOM from erecting a base trans-receiver station on a parcel of land in Mwembe Tayari.

According to the suit papers, an environmental impact assessment was conducted that acknowledged that the residents and stakeholders were exposed to health hazards due to the levels of electromagnetic radiation emitted.

Mr Mahmood Shariff Ali and 10 others want the mobile phone service provider barred from erecting the base trans-receiver station or within a radius of 500 metres from the parcel of land.

Through lawyer Jack Matheka, the residents said in line with environmental regulations, Safaricom caused its agents to seek consent of the neighbours so as to be allowed to erect the station.

The residents said after they were informed of the exercise, the impact and consequences of the base trans-receiver station, they unanimously refused to allow Safaricom and its agents to construct the station.

“On diverse dates, the plaintiffs and the defendant were engaged in consultations with respect to the erection of base trans-receiver station through letters prepared by Mazingira Ltd,”the suit papers read.

Alternative mechanism

The residents further argue that the environmental impact assessment failed to provide an alternative mechanism as required by law.

“The consultation and public hearing did not comply with the law since it was not publicised nor announced in the radio set out,” the suit papers further stated.

The plaintiffs further argue that the assessment provided mitigation recommendation which were not sufficient to effectively protect the health and wellbeing of the children and residents living on the parcel of land at Sargoi Kipande, Mwembe Tayari near Uhuru Gardens.

They further said that pursuant to the findings of the environmental impact assessment, residents and stakeholders submitted their rejection of the proposed project with respect to the health hazards posed.

The plaintiffs contend that regardless of the submissions of their decision, Safaricom Ltd continues with their proposed project, putting their health at risk.

“The defendant through the area chief conducted meetings with a few residents in order to coerce consent, none of them (meetings) are publicised in the local and national dailies or announced in the radio as required by law,” the suit papers read in part.

Comply with requirements

The plaintiffs further said that Safaricom Ltd has failed to comply with the requirements for conducting the proposed project by failing or ignoring to seek the consent of the Communication Authority of Kenya before carrying out the proposed project.

Safaricom has filed a notice of preliminary objection to the suit.
Hearing on the plaintiffs’ application and the objection by Safaricom has been fixed for November 11.