Backers of Kenya’s Lamu coal plant have been instructed by the courts to conduct a new environmental impact assessment and halt work on the project, in a ruling celebrated by local environmental groups.
The mostly Chinese-financed plant is the biggest coal project in eastern and central Africa. Lamu county is on Kenya’s northern coast and includes a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The area is a World Heritage Site and a major draw for tourists.
The June 26 ruling by the National Environmental Tribunal cancelled the license given to Amu Power by the National Environment Management Authority.
“The people of Lamu and Kenyans finally have got justice three years after knocking on the doors of the Tribunal in 2016,” said Omar Elmawi, head of Decoalonize, a local activist group.
Construction of the project was expected to start in 2016 but was delayed following a legal challenge from Decoalonize and Save Lamu.