Sarima Indigenous Peoples’ Land Forum

Defending Our Community Land from Colonial Takeover by Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd.

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The Meru High Court issued an injunction banning any works by LTWP on most of our land. However, the consortium has systematically tried to violate this injunction, while Kenyan security agencies did nothing to prevent it. Our communities were therefore forced to block the roads in order to enforce the court injunction and defend our community land.

The blockades have been so far focussed on stopping road construction/upgrade works that are being undertaken specifically for the project. These works involve partly upgrading an existing road, and partly diverting its route. The modification of the alignment of the existing road will affect more community land (again, without consultation or compensation) and will have detrimental effects on the traditional culture and livelihoods. For instance, the new alignment of the road will seriously damage the ‘singing wells’ of Ilaut, one of the only points where water is available during the dry season, and where water fetching is associated with traditional songs and the sustainance of culture.

In the last weeks, as LTWP representatives realized that divide-and-rule tactics are not working this time, they increased the pressure on the Kenyan government to deploy security agencies to clear the road blockades. This pressure increased after Siemens France, which has been hired to build the wind farm substation, threatened to abandon the project.

After a series of meetings intended to co-opt or threaten community representatives and activists, some of them were convened on February 9th by the Cabinet Secretary of Internal Security and the Cabinet Secretary for Energy. At this meeting, the Cabinet Secretary of Internal Security said that the government will use force to clear blockades and facilitate the construction of the road and the wind farm. The Government knows that the communities will not surrender their land, and that choosing a repressive policy will lead to a bloodbath.

We therefore appeal to national and international civil society organizations to put pressure on consortium members, particularly on foreign governments that have invested or lent taxpayers’ money in LTWP’s project, and on the Kenyan government, in order to prevent a tragedy.

Please write to us if you at a personal level, or your organization, can take action. This can take many different forms, from letters and petitions to social or mainstream media activism, from awareness-raising in your community to urgent protest actions in case the threats come true.

Email us: siplf [at] siplf [dot] org