A global group of non-governmental organizations today called on the World Bank, European Investment Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, German Development Bank- KFW, French Agency for Development, and other international financial institutions involved with the Olkaria I, IV, and V geothermal projects in Kenya to take immediate action and demand that the project promoter, Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen), withdraw all legal charges against Maasai community members who have raised concerns regarding these projects.
Members of Maasai communities that were resettled as a result of these projects have raised concerns regarding the adequacy of the resettlement process, including outstanding housing and compensation claims, inadequate land for grazing, lack of land titling, and inadequate infrastructure at the resettlement site. On 15 February 2017, filed charges to the High Court of Kenya in Nakuru specifically targeting community members who signed a letter of protest.
The signatories express deep concern that KenGen would initiate a punitive lawsuit against project affected persons in response to their legitimate expression of concerns regarding the project’s continuing compliance failures, and implore the financiers to take prompt action to urge KenGen to withdraw the charges and to send a clear message that intimidation or reprisal against project affected persons who express criticism of a project financed by their institutions is unacceptable. The letter calls on all investors engaged in geothermal development in the Olkaria area to respect the rights of indigenous peoples and to ensure that they share equitably in the benefits of development. You can read the letter here. For more information about the issues surrounding the Olkaria projects, read here.