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Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
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(Nairobi, July 23, 2020) – Police violence and property destruction during evictions in Kenya’s Rift Valley and a lack of support afterward has caused deaths and desperation for the people evicted, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2018, Kenyan…
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Government to Pay US$12 Million in Compensation for Smelter Pollution

In a victory for environmental health, last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.…
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Activists Opposing these Plans have Faced Threats and Harassment

Environmental activists in Kenya scored a unique victory last week. On June 26, the National Environmental Tribunal revoked a license issued to Amu Power Company to establish a controversial coal-fired power plant in Lamu. …
Environmental activists and petitioners listen to a tribunal ruling over the construction of a coal-fired power plant, at the supreme court building in Nairobi, Kenya
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Kenyan police and the military are harassing and intimidating environmental rights activists in Lamu county, coast region. At least 35 activists campaigning against the region’s mega infrastructure and transport projects have faced threats, beatings,…
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Activists in Lamu Challenge Power Despite Threats

Tell me about Lamu and the activists you spoke to. Lamu county is a beautiful, scenic tourist destination with long white beaches lined with palm trees and hotels and cafes catering to foreign and domestic tourists. The mostly-Muslim…
Residents and environmental activists  protesting against  lack of consultations and government failure to address environmental concerns in respect ofo the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project in Lamu island, Kenya, March 1, 2012.
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  Summary On May 25, 2018, police arrested two activists during a peaceful protest in Lamu town, Kenya. The activists, staff of the environmental groups, Save Lamu and Lamu Youth Alliance, were protesting the government’s decision to proceed…
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UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
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Lake Turkana Water Levels down, further drop expected

(Nairobi) – Dropping water levels in Kenya’s Lake Turkana following the development of dams and plantations in Ethiopia’s lower Omo Valley threaten the livelihoods of half a million indigenous people in Ethiopia and Kenya, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Boys fishing in Lake Turkana. The population of Turkana County is predominantly Turkana people, who rely on fishing in Lake Turkana for their livelihood.
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Kenyan security forces have forcibly disappeared at least 34 people in the past two years during abusive counterterrorism operations in Nairobi and in northeastern Kenya. The military was actively involved in raiding homes and compounds to arrest people…
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Turkana County, Kenya

As delegates converge on Paris in November for the UN Climate Change Conference, the urgency of the need to address the human rights impacts of climate change is clear: the world’s marginalized communities—populations that are already vulnerable to human…
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  This remote region in Kenya’s north-west is known as the cradle of humankind. But it is a case study in how climate change forces people off their land. It was in Kenya’s Turkana County, near the border with Ethiopia, where one of the…
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Summary Climate change is here with us. We cannot stop it. The only way is to see how to work around it. -- Peter Ekai Lokoel, Deputy Governor Turkana, September 2014 Over the past century, the average annual temperature on earth has…
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(Nairobi, October 15, 2015) – Climate change and regional development projects are threatening the health and livelihood of indigenous peoples in the Turkana region of northwest Kenya, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report and…
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Today, on Earth Day, six grassroots environmental activists awarded this year’s prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize will be honored during a ceremony in Washington, DC. One of the six Goldman Prize recipients is Kenya’s Phyllis Omido, who stood up to…
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For five years, an illegal lead smelter has polluted a small Kenyan community, the toxic lead poisoning children and even killing smelter workers. As of yesterday, Kenya’s government is finally taking action. Celestine had worried for years about her son…
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Thousands of people in a poor urban district outside Mombasa face serious health consequences from toxic lead from a battery recycling plant. The crisis is the result of the Kenyan government’s failure to adequately regulate the lead smelter in the Owino…
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Treat, Compensate Victims of Mombasa Smelter

(Nairobi) – Thousands of people in a poor urban district outside Mombasa face serious health consequences from toxic lead from a battery recycling plant, Human Rights Watch said today. The crisis is the result of the Kenyan government’s failure to…
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Decision Ignores Gibe III Dam’s Impact on Indigenous Peoples, Environmental Concerns

(Washington, DC) – The World Bank undermined the rights of indigenous peoples and the environment with its approval on July 12, 2012, of a US$684 million loan, Human Rights Watch, Friends of Lake Turkana, International Rivers, Survival International, and…