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Kenyans protest building of coal-fired power plant

Scores of Kenyans on Wednesday, thronged the streets of the capital, Nairobi to protest against the project of erecting a coal-fired power plant near the Lamu Archipelago. The coal-fired power plant would be the first in East Africa if successful.

Although the government sees the $ 2 billion Chinese financed project a sure way to promote economic growth, create jobs and secure an energy source for the future, Kenyans condemn the move.

“That’s about $1 million a day for an electricity generating plant that we do not need. We are not even talking about the other impact, the environmental concerns, the pollution among other issues that we have,” said the campaign manager of DeCoalonise, Omar Elmawi.

We actually don’t need extra investments around fossil fuels and Kenya has the capacity to invest in renewable energy instead.

“We are operating actually in an energy surplus here in Kenya and our industrial consumption of power, actually the demand of it is met already. We actually don’t need extra investments around fossil fuels and there’s actually the capacity for Kenya to invest in renewable energy,” said another agreived kenyan, Fredrick Njehu.

Some analyst says, that the 981 megawatt power plant would be a mistake, considering that the 25-year contract requires an annual payment of $360 million to the joint venture that will own and operate the plant, Amu Power, even if no power is generated by the plant.

Kenya’s National Environment Court is expected to issue a judgment on the future of the plant on 24 June.