Date: 25 May
Kenya – Today, hundreds activists all over the continent took to the streets to raise awareness about breaking free the impacts of coal. In Lamu, Kenya youths, women, fishermen and other community leaders were at a peaceful, legal march as part of Break Free Mobilisations, when two anti-coal activists were taken into custody. No details have been released about the charges they face or whether they will be released on bond after consultation between the authorities and Kenya Human Rights who are taking the case.
The Lamu Power Project is a proposed 1,050-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Lamu County, Kenya. The project would include coal-handling facilities at the proposed Lamu Port. Construction of the $2 billion (Sh206 billion) coal plant is yet to start after suffering delays since 2015. The development of the Lamu Coal plant is detrimental not only to the lives of those living in the area but undermines the urgency of the existential crisis of climate change.
Landry Ninteretse, Regional Team Leader at 350.org, one of the organisations behind the mobilisation said: “This is an act of intimidation by the police to discourage mass action against the planned construction of the Lamu coal plant. It is for this reason that people have mobilised to have their voices heard. They are concerned with the devastating effects that this coal plant is likely to have on their lives, livelihoods and ecosystems. Our concern is with our activists. We are doing everything in our power to ensure of their safety while in custody and demand an immediate unconditional release of the two activists.”
Last week a group of activists in Kitui faced police intimidation although there were no arrests.
The Break Free movement in Africa is coordinated by Greenpeace Africa, African Climate Reality Project (ACRP), 350.org and Earthlife Africa Jhb: empowering local communities to rise with acts of courage and come together as a global movement for climate action and justice.
Lerato Ngakane, 350.org Africa Communications Coordinator Lerato.email@example.com
+27 81 464 9726