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National Environmental Management Authority: Consult the Public before finalising ESIA for Lamu Port three berths

Contrary to the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA), the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has submitted the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) final report for the Lamu port three berths for comment on February 14th, 2013 to a select few stakeholders without facilitating public consultation and review of the report.

On January 25th, 2012, Save Lamu and nine other community organizations in Lamu, Kenya took the Government to court, including the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), over the launch of the Lamu Port before the completion of an ESIA. Despite the fact that work has already commenced since last year, the Ministry of Transport finalised and submitted an ESIA to NEMA for approval on February 14th. In receiving the report, NEMA forwarded it to select stakeholder and gave them 30 days to comment (by March 16th). This is contrary to Regulation 21 of the Environmental (Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations 2003, where an invitation for comments should be gazetted and a public forum to be carried out with the affected communities.

Since every Kenyan has a constitutional right to participation in decision-making, I hereby submit a complaint to NEMA and a request for the report to be shared to the public and relevant local stakeholders, as well as more time be granted for review of the ESIA as per the procedures mandated by law. Considering the biological sensitivity of the Lamu Archipelago and the uniqueness of the UNESCO World Heritage, any failure to do so would be tantamount to irresponsible development and contrary to the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA).

This petition was delivered to:
  • Director General, National Environmental Management Authority
    Professor Geoffrey Wahungu
  • Public Complaints Committee, NEMA
    Chairman
  • PS, Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources
    Mr. Ali Mohammed
  • Environment Officer (Lamu), NEMA
    Mr. Edward Menza

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