Lamu Cordisons Wind Power Project, Kenya

Disputes over land for wind power farms between foreign companies, officials and local populations, in the vicinity of Lamu.


Cordisons International (K) Ltd intends to implement a Wind Power project in Lamu County. The proposed sites for windfarms include: Lake Moa, Kiongwe, Pate Island and Kiangwe. In May 2013 an EIA for the project was submitted to NEMA, which Nature Kenya forwarded comments on. Nature Kenya’s main concerns were that the EIA was inadequate and certain issues in it needed to be addressed prior to its approval and also during project implementation. Some of the recommendations that were put forward included: the need to carry out detailed biodiversity surveys and set baselines; adopt avian safe wind farm design and turbine placement; and develop and implement a biodiversity monitoring framework. However the EIA was approved without incorporating these recommendations and implementation of the project has already begun. Land rights are also a potentially very conflictive issue in the Lamu region, as the large majority of the population does not have title to the lands they occupy. In 2016 the conflict escalated bwteeen two foreign firms, Cordisons and Kewind, trying to get land for wind power projects in Baharini Village in this region. 

Basic Data
NameLamu Cordisons Wind Power Project, Kenya
ProvinceLamu County, Coast Region
SiteBaharini Village, near the town of Mpeketoni, in Lamu County
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThere are several plants in dispute. One by Cordisons International (K) Ltd that i ntends to implement a Wind Power project Kiongwe, Mtagwanda and Kiangwe trust lands measuring 60,000 acres about 16.7 km from Lamu town. The Project aims to provide 300MW of reliable, low cost wind power to the Kenya national grid. Cordisons received a license for potential development of the project from the Ministry of Energy. It was expected to become operational in 2015, though construction had apparently already begun.

By 2017, there were two foreign rival energy companies involved in disputes over land in this region - Cordisons International Ltd (from the USA) and Kenwind Holdings Ltd (from Belgium). [1]
Project Area (in hectares)24,281
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population300,000 - 500.000
Company Names or State EnterprisesCordisons International Ltd from Kenya - a member of West Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse
West Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse from United States of America
Electric Power Engineers from United States of America
ditte ISA from Italy
Kewind from Belgium
Relevant government actorsKenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd , Ministry of Energy, National Environment Management Authority, National Land Commission
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNature Kenya, East African Wildlife Society, BirdLife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationObjections to the EIA
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
OtherBird Strikes /Bird mortality
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (undecided)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
EIA approved without incorporating proposed recommendations
Development of AlternativesNature Kenyas recommendations:

- Carry out detailed biodiversity surveys and set baselines

-Adopt avian safe wind farm design and turbine placement

-Develop and implement a biodiversity monitoring framework for the project
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Nature Kenya put forward recomendations to be incorporated in the EIA before approval and implementation of the project. However, the EIA was approved regardless of these recommendations and project implementation already begun.
Sources and Materials

Environmental Management and Coordination Act; Energy Act; Forest Act


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The Star, Two wind energy firms to share land in Lamu

Sep. 30, 2016. By DOMINIC WABALA
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[1] Daily Nation, NLC, (national lnd Commission) and county entangled in foreign firms' dispute over Sh21b Lamu wind power. March 20 2017
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Other Documents

Officials from Kenwind Holdings on September 14, 2016 present a Sh9.1 million goodwill cheque to 26 farmers from Baharini in Lamu who gave up their land for a wind power project. KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
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Meta Information
ContributorSerah Munguti
Last update06/04/2017