LAPSSET project distorts Lamu Island heritage, court told
LAPSSET project distorts Lamu Island heritage, court told.
Some Lamu residents on Tuesday told a five-judge bench that the ongoing construction of multi-billion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor has violated their rights to cultural life.
He urged Justices, John Mativo, Jaden Thuranira, Pauline Nyamweya, Joel Ngugi and Joseph Onguto sitting in Malindi to suspend the project until the government observes environmental remedies on protecting and conserving marine life.
Mr Somo said that the ongoing dredging at the Indian Ocean in Lamu for the construction of Lamu port has destroyed mangrove forests, sea grass, and coral reefs which are fish and turtle nesting areas.
A marine biologist was also among the witness in the petition against the Attorney General, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), among other government department linked to the LAPSSET project.
“NEMA went on to grant licence to implement the project disregarding the environment and social impact assessment study report for construction of the first three berths of Lamu port and,” he added.
Mr Somo said that part of the report conducted by Coastal Oceans and Research Development (CORDIO) experts recommended they be given modern fishing vessels to enable them proceed with fishing at deep sea.
Dr Obura said he has studied the ocean terrain of the area and even snorkelled to observe the coral reefs at the seabed which are on threat of destruction due to water pollution and dredging activity.
During cross examination, Dr Obura said the coral reefs, mangroves and other marine lives can be saved by replanting them after completing the dredging activity caused by LAPSSET project.
The petitioner lawyers, Christine Nkonge and Lempaa Suyianka said they have three more witnesses to testify before concluding the matter.