Kassim Said (73) has known the coast all his life. Having worked for over 60 years as a sailor and fisherman on the shores of Zanzibar, Kismayu, Kilifi and Lamu, he has seen the benefits of a clean water life. However, for the first time in his life, he now faces the daunting prospect of having to live off of polluted water and air on the island that he and his family call home and work.
Hussein KassimThere aren’t enough hospitals on the island and healthcare is not at the level it should be, my children will definitely be affected when they breathe the polluted air coming from the plant.
These are concerns echoed across the African continent where coal mines exist and new ones proposed. An attempt to make large parts of Africa coal-dependent is happening under the guise of an economic transformation and development facade. Any new coal power plant or mine comes at great cost: local environmental destruction, displacement of local peoples, and an intensification of the pace and impacts of climate change while profits are channelled elsewhere, outside of Africa, in the pockets of few corporate elites.
Africa is most vulnerable region to climate change due to the interplay of harsh climatic conditions and fragile economies. Intense and unpredictable weather patterns affect the continent and impact the lives of millions of people.
Shela dunes at sunset. The light kisses the sand in such a magical way, easily making shell’s dense the best place to watch the sunset
We know that East Africa’s first coal plant with a capacity of 1,050 megawatts (MW) will not drive the growth envisioned for the country but instead, will negatively contribute to the tremendous toll on human health and the environment. We urge Kenya to focus on a renewable sustainable pathway.This means a decentralised Renewable Energy system and energy independence fully owned and controlled by all Africans! Profits made from sustainable energy pathways must be shared amongst frontline communities, not just in the pockets of corporations and wealthy elite driven by profits at the expense of people and the environment.
From Ghana to Lamu, people are resisting imminent dangers they face from climate change. With artivist such as Peter at the creative helm, we know impacted communities will have their stories told. The people will be heard. Together we can stop the expansion of the coal industry and protect the future of our climate for future generations.