New twist as Lamu legislators back controversial coal plant

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Lamu, KENYA:Two Lamu MPs have pledged their unwavering support for the establishment of the Sh.200 Billion coal plant in Lamu.

Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama and his Lamu East counterpart Athman Shariff said they saw no reason why they shouldn’t support the project as long as it fulfills all the required standards including full compensation of those whose lands have been acquired for the project.

The Project which is under Amu Power, a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment is set to be established at Kwasasi area in Hindi Division in Lamu West.

A total of 975 acres of land have already been acquired in the area in readiness for the project which is expected to generate 1,050 megawatts of power upon completion.

The coal project has however continued to receive immense opposition from the local community and activists majorly the Save Lamu organization who insist that the project is hazardous.

Speaking in Lamu town on Monday , the MPs said they believe the project will employ the use of modern technology in the production of coal which is safe for humans and the environment.

The two legislators believe the project carries the immense potential to turn the economic scales of Lamu around.

The MPs said that will adequate sensitization, locals will be able to understand how safe the project is and would stop opposing it.

“The investor has promised to use advanced technology which is safe to the environment and humans. My only concern is for the investor to ensure all the affected farmers at Kwasasi are given their compensation as promised before anything takes place at the project site. The investor should also ensure our people are equipped with knowledge about the coal plant project so that when one chooses to support or oppose, they do so with full knowledge,” said Muthama.

Lamu East MP Athman Shariff asked locals to think things through first before rushing to oppose the project just for the sake of it.

The MP believes the project can’t be stopped at this stage and as such asked locals to make peace with it and accept it.

“Let’s not be individuals who rush into opposing national government projects. We should view the coal plant project in both ways. In addition, it’s too late for us to begin opposing the project. You should understand that the investor has already followed due procedures to reach where the project is. As at now, we only have less than 5 percent remaining before the coal plant is actually put into place,” said Sharif.

The MP said Kenya will not be the first nation to process coal and asked locals and activists to stop being over-dramatic about the project.

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