Kenya: NGOs urge World Bank to ensure KenGen geothermal project adequately safeguards local community's livelihood

Author: Narasha Community Development Group & others, Published on: 16 February 2017

"NGOs letter to World Bank calling for protection of indigenous Maasai"

The World Bank Board is scheduled to review on February 16 a proposed Management Action Plan for the Kenya Electricity Expansion Project (KEEP), a geothermal development project involving the resettlement of four Maasai villages in Kenya’s Rift Valley…Throughout project implementation, Bank protections for indigenous peoples, including free, prior and informed consultation, respect for customary land rights, and benefit - sharing for commercialization of indigenous peoples’ natural resources, have continued to be ignored. The project also violated the Involuntary Resettlement Policy as resettlement was not culturally appropriate, did not rely on reliable socioeconomic census data, did not provide adequate replacement land, and failed to restore livelihoods…

We urge you to ensure that any approved Management Action Plan includes concrete time - bound commitments and use of all available Bank remedies to bring the project into compliance with the Involuntary Resettlement and Indigenous Peoples policies. In particular, the Action Plan should include the following elements:...Require KenGen to provide additional grazing land sufficient to meet the communities’ economic and cultural needs and restore their livelihoods....Ensure that legal title is awarded as community land as a freehold title, not a leasehold title, in accordance with the Community Land Act...Require repayment of project funds to ensure financing of roads and water main construction...Ensure that a livelihood assessment is completed and disclosed, and set concrete time-bound measures to restore conditions for pastoralism and tourism, as well as new employment. Until livelihoods are restored, economic assistance should be provided sufficient to ensure a standard of living at least equal to pre -resettlement.

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Related companies: Kengen