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Counties

Lamu youth oppose coal plant, urge government to embrace renewables

A section of youth in Lamu have opposed the
A section of youth in Lamu have opposed the establishment of Sh200 billion coal-fired power plant in the county. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NMG 

A section of youth in Lamu have opposed the establishment of Sh200 billion coal-fired power plant in the county.

Speaking during a one day workshop on environmental degradation and climate change at the Tushauriane Conference Hall in Lamu on Wednesday, the youth expressed concern that the establishment of the coal plant in the county will negatively impact on the health of locals and the environment.

They called on the government to review the plan and go for green energy instead of the coal project.

The youth insisted that they were not ready for coal plant establishment in Lamu.

The project which is under Amu Power Company, a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment is to be established at Kwasasi Village in Hindi Division, Lamu West.

Some 975 acres of land have already been set aside for the establishment of the project which is expected to generate 1,050 megawatts of electricity.

Mr Mahmoud Hussein, a youth leader in Lamu vowed to coerce the local youth to support anti-coal crusaders in to global warming and the general environmental degradation not only in Lamu but the country as a whole.

“The coal plant project is hazardous to the environment and human health. As youth, let’s join hands in campaigning against the project establishment in our county. We support all intended national government projects except the Coal Plant which will destroy our generations,” said Mr Hussein.

Mr Saddam Athmans stressed that their intention wasn’t to oppose state projects in their entirety but rather to guard against the establishment of ventures that aren’t safe for the people of Lamu.

Lamu youth attending a workshop on environmental degradation and climate change

Lamu youth attending a workshop on environmental degradation and climate change at the Tushauriane Conference Hall in Lamu on September 12, 2018. PHOTO | KAZUNGU SAMUEL | NMG

Mr Athman said it was high time the government pay attention to anti-coal calls and seek out an alternative and healthier project other than the coal plant.

He warned the government against hurriedly approving and pushing for projects that would endanger Lamu population and environment.

“We are worried the project will wipe out the Lamu generation. We are telling the government to hear our plea and stop pushing the coal project on us. Lamu is a heritage site and people depend on fishing here for survival. The project will immensely affect the heritage of Lamu and deny fishermen jobs,” said Mr Athman.

The project has been receiving strong opposition from activist groups including the Save Lamu, Lamu Youth Alliance and the Lamu Marine Forum. Some activists have been arrested.

The youth's sentiments come at a time when owners of lands earmarked for the establishment of the project at Kwasasi have disagreed with the national government over the mode of compensation.

The land owners want cash instead of the intended land to land compensation approach.

Early this week, Lamu MCAs threatened to sabotage the project’s activities if the government will insist on land to land compensation for the farmers instead of giving them cash.

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