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Lamu port project has denied us cultural rights, fishermen tell court

Dr David Obura (right), a marine life expert and his lawyer Christine Nkonge showing a map to a bench of five judges at the Malindi Law Courts to demonstrate the effects of the Lapsset project,  May 23, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Dr David Obura (right), a marine life expert and his lawyer Christine Nkonge showing a map to a bench of five judges at the Malindi Law Courts to demonstrate the effects of the Lapsset project, May 23, 2017. PHOTO | CHARLES LWANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Lamu fishermen on Tuesday told a five-judge bench that the ongoing construction of the multibillion-shilling Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor had violated their rights to cultural life.

Mr Mohamed Somo, the Lamu Beach Management Unit chairman said the Lapsset project has destroyed the heritage of Lamu Island, which is a Unesco world heritage site.

He urged Justices John Mativo, Jaden Thuranira, Pauline Nyamweya, Joel Ngugi and Joseph Onguto sitting in Malindi to suspend the project until the government observes environmental remedies on protecting and conserving marine life.

Mr Somo said the ongoing dredging at the Indian Ocean in Lamu has destroyed mangrove forests, sea grass and coral reefs, which are fish and turtle nesting areas.