Kenya: Locals communities should be consulted & benefit from renewable energy project, says columnist
Author: Ikal Ang'elei, (Director, Friends of Lake Turkana) in Heinrich Böll Stiftung (Kenya), Published on: 28 August 2017
"When Clean Energy Gets Dirty: Experiences from Kenya"
Renewable energy has become an important part of the global energy mix. This can be celebrated as a great achievement in the fight against climate change, but difficult questions still need to be asked about its squeaky-clean image. The current discourse on renewable energy tends to centre on the positive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and improved energy security, while the risks of social and environmental injustice are largely ignored. As with any development, it is important that the introduction and use of new low-carbon and renewable energy technologies avoids such negative impacts and creates meaningful economic opportunities for the communities around them.
Thanks to large-scale investments in geothermal and wind projects, Kenya has become an important renewable-energy hub on the continent. The country has a cautionary tale to tell...[It has] scaled up its pursuit of investment in renewable energy. However, it appears questionable for the moment whether these renewable-energy projects will ensure the attainment of economic, social and cultural rights for indigenous peoples in Kenya, as guaranteed and provided by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Kenya’s own constitution. But if communities lose lands and livelihoods in the process, who will receive the benefits of sustainable” development? [Refers to Lake Turkana Wind Power]
Related companies: Lake Turkana Wind Power