Nairobi, Kenya: 5 June 2018
Today anti-coal activists across Kenya including from Lamu and Kitui held the #CoalNiSumu (Coal is Poison) demonstration in Nairobi, Kenya. About 250 people participated in the peaceful march through the Central Business District.
It was the first anti-coal demonstration in Nairobi, but just the latest action by the deCOALonize movement. This Nairobi event follows a peaceful anti-coal demonstration in Lamu two weeks ago, in which two activists were arrested for public assembly and face possible charges.
The crowd of protestors carried anti-coal signs in support of Kitui and Lamu residents opposed to coal projects. From Freedom Corner, they stopped at the Supreme Court and County’s City Hall.
The group then arrived at Parliament, where they formally delivered their petition of demands and were met by a representative of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment.
The group ended its demonstration at the Office of the President, where the Assistant Secretary formally received the petition as well.
A copy of the full petition is attached. Demands included the following:
- The immediate cessation of all activities leading to the construction of a coal plant in Lamu;
- The immediate cessation of all activities leading to coal mining in Kitui;
- A review of NEMA licensing process so as to include effective public participation that can curb impunity and corruption in environmental management in Kenya;
- A vetting of all public officials including the CS who were involved in approving coal mining and the construction of a coal plant in Lamu;
- A review of the energy policy in Kenya with a view to permanently ban coal in Kenya.
Participating deCOALonize partners and members included Team Courage, Pawa254, Haki Africa, KeNRA,CHRCE, Save Lamu, Greenpeace Africa, 350 Kenya, Biodiversity Network, and Katiba Institute, Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, Sauti ya Wanjiku Movement, amongst many other individual Kenyans and civil society organisations.
Police duly followed the peaceful protest after demonstration organisers had notified them in advance as required by law. National and international media covered the event.
The deCOALonize Campaign was developed in January 2016 by a group of environmental and social justice advocates concerned about the increasing interest in Kenya on coal power production and exploration. The campaign was developed to advocate and provide information to local communities, policy makers, academics, and civil society, on alternatives to coal and embracing clean energy in Kenya.