Kenya protest against Lamu coal-fired power station

Kenyan activists oppose the mining of coal and construction of the country’s first coal-fired power station.

With a capacity of 1050 megawatts and a cost of two billion dollars, the future Lamu power station, on the edge of the Indian Ocean, is very controversial.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, a hundred or so citizens, activists and human rights defenders demonstrated yesterday against the project in the center of Nairobi…

Coal is poison… Dressed in black and wearing skeleton masks, activists say no to fossil energy.

“We are sending this message to the President of the Republic of Kenya, the Government, and all international partners involved in the project.

The smoke generated by this plant is dangerous for the health of local communities, wastewater discharged into the sea will threaten marine life.

“The city of Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We can not let this project destroy Lamu,” said Hussein Khalid, director of the NGO Haki Africa.

The construction of the plant, supported and partly financed by China, was originally scheduled to start in 2015.

The government says it aims to offset the country’s growing demand for electricity. But it has been postponed because of many controversies.

And according to Jim Hedi, a protester, it is useless… “Coal is known to be very polluting. We see what is happening in South Africa, and elsewhere on the continent. So we do not want it in Kenya. And we do not need it because we already have enough sources of energy. We have, the sun, we have the wind!”

Kenya is indeed a champion of renewable energies, 80% of the country’s electricity production comes from it. A title threatened by the Lamu power plant project according to many experts, who doubt the viability of the project in the face of green energies that cost less.

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