China recently shut down its last coal plant in Beijing.The plant had been associated with massive air pollution upto to an extent where residents had to walk with protective gear like nose-masks.Kenya worldwide acclaim after the completion of the Lake Turkana Windfarm project.The project an epitome of clean renewable energy has placed Kenya among the few African nations that have embraced calls for clean renewable energy.However,the government has embarked on -surprisingly-coal mining projects earmarked to be carried out in Lamu and the Mua basin in Kitui county .The two projects have hard a rough time with environmentalists and local leaders who are up in arms against them.
The Mui basin in Kitui county was discovered to be a rich source of coal.The government through the ministries of Energy,Mining and Finance worked together and scheduled the mining process..The time allocated for the project has since flown by and it is now behind schedule.The Chinese firm Fenxing Mining company which was awarded the tender has found itself embroiled in a dispute including the local leaders,civil rights activists and citizens.Local leaders led by area MCA Musee Mulongo,women representative and senator recently accused the governor,Julius Malombe of failing to co-operate to ensure that the company had begun mining.Governor Malombe in response said that critical issues like settlement of those affected had not been done to citizens satisfaction.
The project in Lamu county is no different.The coal plant is supposed to sit on a 975 Acre piece of land in Kwasasi area of Hindu Bay. The government signed an agreement with the African Development Bank to finance the project. In addition, President Uhuru Kenyatta flew to China where he borrowed $2Bn to finance the project.This brought to a total $9Bn the amount borrowed by the Jubilee regime since it came to power in 2013 surpassing all governments that were there before it.The Lamu Coal plant is managed by Amu Power Company which has also signed pacts with other firms including( the usual Chinese) company to help it run the project.to dampen the mood on the coal project further,it has been established that the government will have to import coal from South Africa or construct a railway line from Lamu to the Mua basin to transport the coal deposits to the plant.Uhuru Kenyatta and his United States counterpart Donald Trump were the only pro-coal leaders present at the G7 Summit inTaormina,Italy.
You have to love environmentalists,the passion they put into their work that makes it look like fun,until it turns into rubber bullets and teargas.Love them or hate them these guys deserve our respect and support.Looking at the list of diseases people living near the coal mines stand to suffer (if no tangible action is taken) makes you feel sorry for them.First there is Pneumoconiosis(black lung) which is likely to affect the people working in the mines due to breathing in air mixed with coal particles.Fibriosis and bronchitis are also likely to affect residents in the surrounding.Inhalation of air that has Arsenic,Cadmium and lead (all associated with coal) may make one suffer Emphysema- a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.Hypertension/High blood pressure,kidney diseases and high mortality rates are also in line to add to second degree effects that may be caused with coal mining