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Lamu coal plant hits snag as court reinstates stop orders

Anti-Coal campaigners
Anti-coal campaigners. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NMG 

The fate of the Sh200 billion Lamu coal fired power plant now hangs in the balance following a recent move by the High Court sitting in Nairobi to reinstate all the stop orders concerning the establishment of the project.

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

So far a total of 975 acres of land has been set aside at Kwasasi for the establishment of the project which is expected to generate 1,050 megawatts of power upon completion.

But on September 24, the High Court in Nairobi gave orders restoring all stop orders that were on the project. The petitions were filed by the Katiba Institute and activist Okiya Omtata.

The ruling comes in wake of protest by anti-coal campaigners at a side event of the Global Climate Action Summit, being held in San Francisco.

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The anti-coal campaigners were protesting against the involvement of General Electric in the Lamu coal power plant, although Amu Power, through their lawyer, declared in court that they had not signed any deal with General Electric.

The ruling, however, does not affect the proceedings currently ongoing at the National Environmental Tribunal.

Meanwhile, anti-coal crusaders have termed the recent ruling by the Nairobi High Court as a boost to their campaigns.

So far a total of 975 acres of land have already been set aside at Kwasasi for the establishment of the project

So far a total of 975 acres of land have already been set aside at Kwasasi for the establishment of the project. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Speaking Wednesday, Mr Omar Elmawi who is the DeCoalonise Campaign Coordinator said the ruling had come on time.

“We are happy for the ruling. It’s a major boost to our anti-coal campaigns. We are optimistic that justice will prevail at the end,” said Mr Elmawi.

In an interview at his Lamu Office, Save Lamu activists group Secretary-General and Chairman of the Lamu Youth Alliance Ahmed Walid said they will not relent on their quest to stop the establishment of the coal plant project in their county.

Mr Walid insisted that the project is hazardous to both the environment and human health.

He called on the government to embrace green and renewable sources of energy instead of the coal plant.

Anti-coal campaigners

Anti-coal campaigners. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NMG

“Let’s the Kenyan government embrace clean energy production and do away with the likes of the coal plant and any other projects which are hazardous to the environment and human health,” said Mr Walid.

Lamu Youth Alliance member Is’haq Khatib said Kenya must speak in one voice in as far as environmental degradation is concerned.

He said everyone knows what a coal plant can do to the health of people, the environment and to marine life.

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