Kenyan members of Parliament have moved to assure residents of Kwasasi area in Hindi that the planned Lamu Coal Power plant will not affect their heath or the environment.
The MPs say that the plant will use advanced technology which has proved beyond doubt that coal production can be safe.
The National Assembly Committee on Energy Sh200 billion coal plant in Lamu County would help boost electricity supply in the country.
“Let’s not be discouraged by misinformation about the project. The government intends to use the most advanced technology to produce coal,” said Committee chairman David Gikaria
But a community of activists in Lamu is fiercely contesting the approval of a proposed coal power plant saying it threatens to alter their health, heritage, environment and marine system of their homeland. Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
They have come together under the Save Lamu banner, and are currently engaged in a contentious court battle between the people of Lamu and the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema).
Environmentalists are of the opinion that if the project is allowed to forge ahead, not only will Kenya fail to reduce its current carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as per international agreements, but will lock itself in destructive fossil fuel dependence for decades to come.
“Given the failing economics of coal, a new coal power plant in Kenya is a bad investment in a country with a favorable environment for investment in renewables,” says Vrinda Manglik a campaign representative at International Climate and Energy Campaign.
Lamu Coal power plant project is being undertaken by Amu Power Company, a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment.
Some 975 acres have been set aside for the project, expected to generate 1,050megawatts of electricity upon completion.