Coal Plant Will Harm Environment

Environmental activists demonstrate in Nairobi against construction of a coal power plant in Lamu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

By COLLINS ODOTE

Kenya’s legislative and policy documents are explicit in their recognition of the importance of coal as a source of energy in Kenya and one of the key options for helping meet the country’s energy needs. This is despite the international contestations over the continued reliance on coal despite its negative environmental effects.

This is captured in the statement that coal is a dirty source of energy. Supporters of coal on the other hand argue that it is possible to have clean coal.

This is the background against which the Lamu Coal Plant must be viewed. Following the issuance of an environmental impact assessment license by the National Environment Management Authority, a coal power plant in Lamu was to be operationalized.

However, the plant has seen controversies throughout its life. Opposed by both residents of Lamu and civil society, the debate was settled, at least for the time being by the National Environmental Tribunal, which in a decision delivered on June 26, 2019 cancelled the license by Nema to AMU Power Company Limited to establish and operate the plant.

Kenya has over the last few years been working on a strategy and process to increase its energy production capacity to meet the energy needs not just for present uses but also anticipated demand in the journey to increased industrialization. It has sought to expand its energy options to include not just coal but also nuclear sources…read more>>

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