SGR Phase 2A
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the second phase of the contentious Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Phase 2A to run from Nairobi to Naivasha on October 19th.
The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) position has been that we are not against development but the due process of the law must be followed. The Environment Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) stipulates that it is an offense to commission any project specified in the second schedule of the ACT without an EIA license from National Environment Management Authority - Kenya (NEMA).
The EIA process has now been undertaken for this SGR Phase 2A and NEMA published a call for public comment to the ESIA study report on 27th October. EAWLS will undertake a technical review of the study report and submit its comments before the lapse of the 30 days period as provided for by the EIA/EA regulations 2003.
You can download the EIA report from the EAWLS website.
b) Proposed Lamu Coal Power Plant
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in September 2016 approved the development of the Lamu Coal-Powered Plant despite dissenting submissions voiced by East African Wild Life Society, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and members of the public.
EAWLS requests stakeholders in conservation and the general public to rally behind this call to make NEMA revoke the EIA license and ensurethat all public comments have been taken into consideration as we, and other like-minded organizations, explore the possibility of appealing NEMA’s decision at the National Environment Tribunal (NET) as provided for under section 129 (2) of EMCA to ensure that environmental justice is granted.
c) Proposed Grand High Falls Dam in Tharaka Nithi
The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) conducted a technical review of the EIA study report for the proposed High Grand Falls Multipurpose Dam along the River Tana in Tharaka-Nithi County. And subsequently submitted the comments to National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for considerations.
EAWLS takes a lead role in facilitating and contributing to the formulation and implementation of policies and laws in the land, natural resource conservation and management sector that lead to the safeguarding of biodiversity and ecosystems as well as enhanced socio-economic outcomes for all people in East Africa.
EAWLS has the ability to anticipate and successfully respond to critical conservation issues as they occur, taking the lead whenever appropriate. We have successfully halted major infrastructural development that had major environmental impacts as well as those that have not followed the due process of the law.
We are currently engaged with the following advocacy campaigns and actions:
Offshore Sand Dredging in Kenya’s South Coast
There is ongoing sand dredging between 0.5 and 1km offshore of Kenya’s South Coast from Likoni through Waa to Tiwi that is to provide sand for the reclamation work of the Standard Gauge Railway’s (SGR) main Railway Container Terminal and Marshaling Yard at Port Reitz. This activity is in danger of destroying reefs, fishing areas, fish breeding grounds, sea grasses and sea turtle breeding areas and subsequently turning one of Kenya’s famed beautiful beaches into rocky fields.
EAWLS is working closely with the communities living in this area led by the South Coast Resident’s Association (SCRA) in conjunction with Kwale County Natural Resources Network (KCNRN) to ensure that the dredging is permanently stopped until such a time when a full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study is done to the satisfaction of all stakeholders and the general public in the Coastal region. Furthermore, we are pushing for this dredging to follow the international standards for sea sand harvesting which is between 5 to 10 kilometers from the shoreline.
The Southern Bypass and the Nairobi National Park
The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) is constructing bypasses to ease Nairobi’s incessant traffic. In 2012, there was an attempt by KeNHA to encroach into the Nairobi National Park and the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) and key partners went to court on this matter and won the case.
Earlier this year, KeNHA requested an alignment that will encroach into Nairobi National Park again. This new alignment is required to satisfy the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) requirement of having 500 metres clear ground from the end of the runway at Wilson Airport. EAWLS awaits KCAA confirmation of the 500 metre requirement, and until then we will continue pushing for the alignment curve to be reduced accordingly and the original route followed.
The Drying of Umani Springs and the Umani Mtito Andei Water Supply Project
The Umani Mtito Andei water supply project implemented by Kenya’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Makueni County is contributing to the receding of ground water levels which will lead to the drying of Umani springs and the demise of the ground-water dependent Kibwezi Forest ecosystem.
Despite the clear damage of the ecosystem by water over-abstraction, the use of erroneous data and the breach of various legal stipulations, EAWLS went to court to halt this project and further conducted an independent hydrological survey. The matter is still in court.
The Standard Gauge Railway and the Nairobi National Park
The Government of Kenya (The Kenya Railways Corporation) is constructing a modern, high-capacity Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) for both freight and passengers, a realignment of 11.6Km of which 8.85Km will be within the Nairobi National Park (NNP) has recently been approved by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on condition that the railway line does not to annex any land as had earlier been proposed but provide an easement. EAWLS is closely monitoring this construction to ensure that no parties breach the agreement that was signed for the easement.
EAWLS publishes the world-renowned Swara magazine, whose focus is on conservation challenges and successes as well as new approaches. The magazine is keen to stimulate better public understanding and debate. EAWLS is also a co-publisher of the East African Journal of Ecology that focuses on scientific research in the East African region.
EAWLS produces a quarterly newsletter aimed at updating its members, partners and the public on the results and progress of the EAWLS’s programmes and initiatives.
EAWLS holds quarterly conservation talks, dubbed The Imre Loefler Talks that are aimed at providing new thinking in conservation as well as highlight key lessons learnt. Furthermore, the talks are aimed at creating better public understanding and debate.
EAWLS has a strong community-based approach in its direct conservation programmes and initiatives. We work closely with Beach Management Units (BMUs), Community Forest Associations (CFAs), Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) and Community Wildlife Conservancies.
Over the years, EAWLS has been able to: