Save Lamu, an environmental activism group, says it is determined to stop the establishment of the Sh200 billion coal-fired power plant at Kwasasi in Lamu County.
Environmentalists and a group of Lamu residents suffered a blow after a judge in Malindi declined to hear a case late March 2018 seeking to stop the establishment of a coal plant .
The project is being undertaken by the Amu Power Company, a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment.
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 power on completion.
Despite the project receiving the go ahead from the National Environmental Authority and assurances from various leaders, including the National Assembly Committee on Energy that the plant will use advanced technology which is safe to the environment and human health, the activists are still opposed to the project.
Addressing journalists outside Huduma Centre in Lamu on Monday, Save Lamu chairman Mohamed Abubakar said they are determined to ensure justice prevails for thousands of locals who are against the coal plant.
Mr Abubakar insists the project is hazardous and must not be allowed to take off.
He said Save Lamu’s aim is not to oppose government projects but to ensure due processes are followed.
He said the Lamu community is against the coal project and called on the government to stop forcing the project on locals.
“Coal is hazardous to any living species. The amount of toxin that will come from the waste product of the coal plant will affect the sea water hence there will be no fishing activity taking place. Majority of our people here depend on fishing. Establishing the project is similar to killing the fishing industry. We won’t accept that,” said Mr Abubakar.
He also faulted Nema for licensing to the project despite lack of proper public participation.
Save Lamu secretary-general Walid Ahmed said the ban on logging and use of plastic bags will not achieve any impact if it the government proceeds with the intended establishment of the coal power plant in Lamu.
Mr Walid said the coal project is not environmentally sustainable due to its destructive nature to both the environment and the health of people.
He called for an alternative renewable source of energy instead of the coal plant project.
“They can’t ban mangrove logging and plastic bags in the country and at the same time establish a coal fired power plant in Lamu. If they want to achieve their agenda, then they should stop the coal plant. They should also stop forcing the project on the people of Lamu,” said Mr Walid.