Remarks of Chris Kirubi, director of Centum, Lamu coal plant’s lead investor-developer

From a 2015 interview with “New African Magazine”

“Coal power is what is used in many developed countries with few complaints but it becomes a sensitive subject when developing countries want to use it. Their plans are our task as African countries is to plant trees so that our forests can clean the air which the developed nations have made dirty, thereby slowing our progress.”

“We cannot hold back development. We have lots of young people graduating and they don’t have jobs. We will be installing modern technologies in our coal plant to reduce pollution. We must have progress and at the same time safeguard the environment.”

“Our young people need jobs. Without jobs they are lured easily to drugs, crime and even extremist groups. But a guy with a job thinks of a home, a wife and investments. He has little time for mischief.”

Regarding communities’ concerns on participation as stakeholders, reservations on resettlement and compensation claims:

“As a rule we won’t ignore the issues raised. The stakeholders are important. You go sit down with them and explain your position. The support for this project is very high all over the world. We are trying to manage the project in such a way so that locals can get involved. We want to make sure Kenyans also benefit. We are talking to both banks and fund managers to chip in. We are going to transform the coast.”

“I am looking at Lamu as the next highly developed part of our country in the near future. We are happy to be the centre of LAPSSET projects. Because everything they do there will need power. There is very little power coming from Mombasa. We are going to be the generator of power and we plan to desalinate water and supply it to the entire county. The problem of water scarcity in Lamu will be a thing of the past.”

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Compiled research and news about ongoing attempts to develop a coal industry in Kenya. #deCOALonize

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