Last update:
2017-10-17

Lake Turkana Project in Indigenous Territories, Kenya

Africa's largest windfarm to be deployed along indigenous communities' territories in Kenya. Local organization is against illegal land purchases and violation of indigenous rights.



Description:

One of the most controversial cases of wind energy siting in Africa has to be with the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP). The LTWP is to be located along 162 km2 of ancestral lands of the Turkana, Randile and Borana communities (Loyangalani district, Marsabit County). As almost all indigenous communities’ lands in Kenya, this territory is classified as “trust land”, where certain communal rights are considered, but local authorities retain the powers for their own use. Since 2005-2006 local governments started to grant rights over the territory to Lake Turkana, a company registered in Kenya but owned by a joint-development group including British, Dutch, Norwegian and Denmark companies and public funds for developing countries. The project is expected to be the largest wind power facility in sub-Saharan Africa, with a total installed capacity of 310 MW intended to supply the national grid. The wind farm is also registered as a CDM project expecting to remove 736,615 metric tones CO2 equivalent per annum. In addition, a 266-mile transmission line being installed for the project will enable more geothermal projects to come on-grid in the future.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Lake Turkana Project in Indigenous Territories, Kenya
Country:Kenya
State or province:Lovangalani
Location of conflict:Marsabit county
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Large-scale wind energy plants
REDD/CDM
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Carbon offsets
Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Installed capacity

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Project area:16,200
Level of Investment for the conflictive project706,250,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/01/2005
Company names or state enterprises:Vestas Wind Systems A/S from Denmark - Turbine manufacturer
Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) from Norway - Investor - part of the Lake Turkana Consortium
Aldwych International Limited from United Kingdom - Investor and developer- part of the Lake Turkana Consortium
KP&P Africa B.V (KP&P) from Netherlands - Investor - Investor - part of the Lake Turkana Consortium
Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) Denmark from Denmark - Investor - part of the Lake Turkana Consortium
Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd (Finnfund) from Finland - Investor - Part of the Lake Turkana Consortium
Google from United States of America - Investor
Relevant government actors:Meru High Court
Cabinet Secretary of Internal Security
Cabinet Secretary for Energy.
International and Finance InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
African Development Bank (AfDB)
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/CDM (UNFCC)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Sarima Indigenous Peoples' Land Forum
http://siplf.org/en/Support-Our-Demands/
IWGIA, International Workgroup for Indigenous Affairs
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Pastoralists
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The Meru High Court issued an injunction banning any works by LTWP on most of the land. However, the consortium has systematically tried to violate this injunction, while Kenyan security agencies did nothing to prevent it. In March 2016 news indicate the project is ongoing.
Sources & Materials

By Stuart Thornton, April 4, 2012, Wild Winds. Lake Turkana Wind Power aims to create electricity for Kenya
[click to view]

Kenya: Locals Want Court to Halt Power Project,The Star, James Mbaka, Published 27 OCTOBER 2014, Consulted: 03/08/2016.
[click to view]

UPDATED ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT SUMMARY. Lake Turkana Wind Power Project

Kenya

November 2011
[click to view]

Google invests in Africa’s largest windfarm. The Guardian
[click to view]

International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) and Indigenous Peoples National Steering Committee on Climate Change (IPNSCCC); Renewable Energy Projects and the Right of Marginalised/Indigenous Communities in Kenya, written by Kanyinke Sena, November 2015.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Sofía Ávila-Calero
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2244
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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