August 25, 2016

350Africa applauds resignation of Lamu County Executive


Nairobi, Kenya — It has been confirmed that the Trade, Tourism, Culture and Natural Resources Executive,Ms. Samia Omar has resigned from her post due to the controversial $204.3billion coal power plant proposed in Kwawasi Lamu county. The imminent irreversible dangers associated with this project placed her in a compromised position, encouraging investment into the project or saving the environment.

Prince Papa Omugataya, a climate activist at 350 Africa said, “What Ms Samia Omar has done is a big blow to the coal industry, gaining root not only in Kenya but the rest of Africa! She has shown what ethical leadership is. Her move has added weight to the anti-coal movements in Kenya.  We challenge the Lamu County government to follow in the footsteps of Ms Omar. Coal is dirty energy and has to remain underground. Heroes are short in supply in Kenya and when we see one, we do everything to support them.”

Last week, Standard Bank South Africa alongside partners, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China committed $2billion to the 1000 MW coal project. Investment into UNESCO’s heritage site, Lamu, alongside its residence will be deprived of the ecological diversity as well as a flourishing tourism industry.

The resignation of Ms Samia Omar highlights the contradictions and opacity surrounding the controversial coal fired power plant. The project failed to secure the necessary approvals from National Environmental Management Authority, the national environmental watchdog and local communities remain determined to challenge the proposed relocation.

Activists under the “Save Lamu” coalition have been actively mobilising against the Amu project.  The proposed plan is likely to cause health damages to communities, contaminate water resources and decimate mangrove forests of this region rich in both ecological and cultural diversity.

“Despite the challenges faced as activists opposing the coal-fired plant, we are going to double our efforts and loudly raise our voices in Kenya and internationally, asking the government to halt the construction of coal plant and rather invest in a viable energy projects that will allow our communities to live in a healthy environment powered by renewable energy” added Prince Papa.