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Kenya: Report on renewable energy projects' impacts on indigenous communities; Lake Turkana Wind Power responds

A recent report by the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs the adverse impacts of renewable energy projects in Kenya on indigenous communities, including loss of livelihood and exacerbating social conflicts. It also proposes solutions corporations should take so that "unforeseen social conflicts and risk of failure are avoided".

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Report
1 March 2016

Full report

Author: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (Denmark)

"Renewable Energy Projects and the Rights of Marginalised/Indigenous Communities in Kenya"

For this reason, Kenya has scaled up its pursuit of investments in renewable energy, primarily geothermal and wind energy projects.

 But will these renewable energy projects ensure the attainment of economic, social and cultural rights for indigenous peoples in Kenya, as guaranteed and provided by the Inter-national Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966,the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 1986,the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Kenya’s own Constitution?

To answer this question, this report will look at how business enterprises in the renewable energy sector are promoting and respecting the human rights of indigenous peoples in their project areas.

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Company non-response
1 March 2016

Kengen did not respond

Company response
1 March 2016

Lake Turkana Wind Power response

Author: Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited

"Statement by Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited on concerns raised in the IWGIA report titled ‘Renewable energy projects and the rights of marginalised/indigenous communities In Kenya'"

Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited (LTWP) states the following in relation to claims attributed to the aforementioned report regarding the welfare of the communities living around Lake Turkana and specifically the area covered by the LTWP Project in Marsabit County...

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Article
9 February 2016

Kenya: Report says renewable energy projects abuse indigenous populations' rights to land and lack of free, prior & informed consent

Author: Kanyinke Sena, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs

"Renewable Energy Projects and the Rights of Marginalised/Indigenous Communities in Kenya", 20 Nov 2015

The fact that energy projects are green does not necessarily mean they accept and protect internationally-recognised human rights norms. This report documents the adverse impact of Kenya’s goal to develop its renewable energy sector on indigenous peoples. It looks particularly at the geothermal and wind energy sectors in Kenya and describes the human rights impacts of a number of green energy projects on the local indigenous communities. It analyses the State’s responsibility to prevent human rights abuses by third parties and the renewable energy sector’s duty to respect human rights in accordance with international standards, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Finally, the report offers the renewable energy sector guidance on what elements to include in a Human Rights Impact Assessment in order to ensure that a project is successful and that unforeseen social conflicts and risk of failure are avoided. [Also refers to Africa Geothermal International, Geothermal Development Corporation, Kedong Ranch Ltd., KENGEN, Kipeto Energy Limited, and Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd.]

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