Kinangop residents in court over wind power project

March 24, 2015 4:21 pm
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Under international standards the 38 Wind Turbine Generators should be installed at least 1,000 meters from residential premises. Photo/ FILE
Under international standards the 38 Wind Turbine Generators should be installed at least 1,000 meters from residential premises. Photo/ FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – A section of Kinangop residents have moved to court seeking an injunction to the 60MW Kinangop Wind Park Project.

In a petition filed in the High Court, 10 residents say the project lays claim on their private property which they are being coerced to hand over.

Moffat Kamau, Mbugua Kithuki, Samuel Kamau, Patrick Wanjiru, Sammy Mwangi, Simon Mwichigi, John Mbugu, John Ndemenge, Mahugu Njuguna and David Kamau have also taken issue with the go-ahead given by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for the project.

“Whereas under international standards the 38 Wind Turbine Generators should be installed at least 1,000 meters from residential premises, the proponents of the Kinangop Wind Park Project have only acquired 38 plots of 40m x 40m each which means that residential premises of thousands of families of Kinangop Plateau will be within prohibited proximity to the detriment of their rights under Article 42 of the Constitution,” their notice of motion reads.

The residents therefore want the High Court to compel NEMA to conduct a fresh Environmental Impact Assessment with these standards in mind.

The residents also want the police prevented from forcing them to sign lease agreements for the project or from evicting them from their properties and have therefore sued the Inspector General of Police in addition to NEMA, the County Governments of Nyandarua and Nakuru, the Attorney General, the Ministry of Energy, the National Land Commission, Aeolus Kenya Limited, Kinangop Wind Park Ltd and Kinangop Wind Park Leases Ltd.

“The administrative and security forces in Nyandarua and Nakuru Counties have been deployed to intimidate and to violently suppress the project objectors resulting in the death of one man, serious injuries to four people and the arrest of five people on February 24,” they alleged in their notice of motion.

The Kinangop Wind Power Project has attracted international attention with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon hailing Kenya, partly on account of it, as leading the way on green energy.

READ: Ban lauds Kenya’s renewable energy efforts

It is also only the latest in a string of government projects whose implementation has been subjected to litigation.

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