Lamu, KENYA:The county government of Lamu has put on hold the establishment of a Sh 200 billion coal plant in the area.
The county government has also directed the National Environmental and Management Authority -NEMA not to license investors of the project until they comply with requirements issued by the County government.
The Sh.200 Billion coal plant is to be established at Kwasasi area in Hindi,Lamu by the Amu Power company.
Earlier on,NEMA had issued a 30 day for Lamu locals to read through and present recommendations and complaints on the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment-ESIA report concerning the effects of the project to the environment and health.
In a four page letter by the county government of Lamu to NEMA after the lapse of the 30 day period,the county government stated that there were questionable aspects in the report that led to its rejection.
Among the issues of contention is the question of how the investors planned to deal with the environmental effects of the project since it was obvious that it was hazardous to health and environment.
In the letter,the county government also faults the ESIA for failing to clearly state the fate of residents whose lands will be acquired for the project.
The investors are also expected to sign a deal with the county government on how effects of the project will be countered just in case they do pop up in the future.
Environmental bodies in Lamu have also claimed not to have been fully involved in talks concerning the project and hence the push to have NEMA deny the investors the license to proceed.
“….the fact that the KWS and the KFS have not been fully incorporated in the matter is a huge mistake.Lamu is rich in forests and wild animals and it’s important for all these to be considered plus the health and environment…”read part of the letter.
Leaders have however pledged to support the project only if the investors can prove beyond doubt the safety of the project and the necessary mitigations to be taken incase negative effects are reported.