NET hearings Lamu 11–12 May 2017 (Part 1)

Media coverage of hearings (to date)

Mainstream media coverage of the 11–12 May National Environmental Tribunal meetings has been thus far limited to a handful of articles.

Play by play of proceedings & community actions

On Tuesday, 9 May, for its planned Friday demonstration, Save Lamu obtains notification letter stamp of receipt by County Commissioner, as per public assembly requirements. [Included at bottom of this post.]

Thursday 11 May hearings:

NET judges arrived and went straight to the Kwasasi for the site visit, at about 11am. They were late due to missed flights the evening before.

Friday 23 May hearings: witness testimonies

NET heard Save Lamu’s petition against NEMA’s licencing of coal plant. Proceedings began at 8:54am at Lamu Fort.

Lamu fort rooftop

Witness Raya Famau gives testimony:

Raya Famau explains Save Lamu as a coalition of local organizations that work with the community for sustainable development. She notes, community members asked many questions at meetings with Amu Power consultants, but they were not able to be given complete answers about the coal plant negative effects.

  • The environmental threats of the coal plant are significant. Carbon dioxide and other air pollutants will be present. Let us not look just at people in the box — [within the area demarcated for the coal plant] — but what about those living outside?
  • And about land. There is no mitigation plan to solve problem of poisoned land and vegetation. People have no say, if the government wants this project.
  • We, as adults, will leave what for our children? What about the food we grow on this land. What will happen when we won’t have land for food?
  • And the negative effects on tourism, on the beaches and all of Lamu’s assets…

Dr David Obura, NEMA registered expert, witness testimony:

Dr David Obura testifies that maps in ESIA are not accurate. Where reefs are shown, there are none. “I challenge the sampling protocols and sampling method.”

  • Paris Agreement is to reduce carbon footprint, and Kenya has a responsibility to reduce emissions in future developments.
  • The ESIA is very deficient.
  • The coal plant will double Kenya’s carbon emissions. Coal from South Africa is known to be dirty and also that from Kitui.
  • My conclusion is that there are extensive impacts but not enough analysis on mitigation measures.
  • Countries are make sure that energy source is not obsolete, and using a dirty fossil fuel like coal is obsolete.
  • Twenty years from now, we may be using technology and renewables. And we will have a coal plant in Lamu with an ash yard with years of coal ash piled up. And this will be a waste.
  • Fodor creek is a reserve and protected by KWA, but it is not mentioned in the ESIA, even though the plant sits next to it.

Outside: community mobilises, police disrupt

Meanwhile, outside, Lamu residents had gathered for a planned film screening and silent march. Residents unable to enter the Lamu fort building to attend the hearing rally outside. After watching a film on community members who traveled to South Africa to better understand the effects of coal, they gather in the streets for a peaceful march against the coal plant, as a show of support for the witnesses inside representing them.

Lamu residents in opposition to the coal plant, in film screening and street demonstration

Save Lamu deCOALonize flyer & call to action, and received notification of intent to assemble:

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LAPSSET Info

LAPSSET Info

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the anti-coal, pro-renewable, pro-community, pro-sustainable development campaign coalition in Kenya. #deCOALonize @deCOALonize background info: deCOALonize.org