MAC: Mines and Communities

Kenya's Lorropil community forcibly evicted for geothermal project

Published by MAC on 2019-11-06

The highly-respected International Accountability Project, based in the USA, has condemned initiation of a geothermal project in Kenya which caused forcible eviction of more than a hundred local villagers early this month.

It's an enteprise from which the European Investment Bank has already  withdrawn a multi-million pound loan, following protests by the community and others.

Lorropil villagers subject to forced eviction

by Elias Jika

International Accountability Project

5 November 2019


In the early morning of Sunday 3 November, more than 100 people of Lorropil village, Nakuru County, Kenya were forcibly evicted and had their homes burned down reportedly by armed police officers. The residents have received ongoing threats of forced eviction most recently on 28 October, when government officials reportedly showed up at Lorropil village ordering residents to vacate the village. IAP strongly condemns the forced evictions of Lorropil village. Civil society groups and other actors have been organizing against the forced evictions and are working to address immediate concerns.


While the residents of Lorropil village were not included as project affected people in the planning documents of the European Investment Bank, IAP and partners believe that Lorropil village would in fact be impacted by the Akiira 1 Geothermal Power Plant  project along with the communities of RAPland and Suswa. The results of community-led research emphasized that all communities to be impacted deserve an open, transparent and accountable engagement process in order for their development priorities to be adopted and their rights to be fully respected.

Following engagements by affected communities, civil society organizations and other players regarding social and environmental rights concerns
raised by all affected communities, the European Investment Bank decided to withdraw consideration for a €155 million ($192 million) loan - more than half of the proposed project costs - to finance the Akiira 1 Geothermal Power Plant.


According to documents from the European Investment Bank, the Akiira 1 Geothermal Power Plant is intended to be the first phase of a larger 140  megawatt geothermal project. Akiira Geothermal Limited is comprised of Centum Investment Company, American firms Halcon Holdings (formerly Ram Energy), Marine Power, and the Danish renewable energy fund, DI Frontier Market Energy and Carbon Fund.

 

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