This project is for the proposed construction of salt harvesting pans in Kilifi County, Magarini Sub-County, Fundi Issa Location, Marereni Sub-Location, Adu Ward at Musumarini area for purposes of producing and manufacturing salt from sea water using solar technology. It is estimated that this project will occupy approximately 753.8 hectares of land and will comprise salt ponds (evaporator ponds, serving ponds and crystallzer ponds), electricity connection from the national grid, saltwater pumps, salt washing area raw (salt washery), site camp with offices and support facilities.
EIA PROCESS TRACKER
Al Sherman Limited
EIA Study Phase
Our observation is that there is a lack of full compliance with Regulation 17 (2) (a) (ii) & (iii) of the Environmental (Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations 2003. In particular, evidence of compliance with the following requirements was not provided in the EIA study report: –
- Publishing a notice on the proposed project for two successive weeks in a newspaper with nationwide circulation, and
- Making an announcement of the notice in both official and local languages in a radio with nationwide coverage for at least once a week for two consecutive weeks.
Additionally, some of the questionnaires attached to the EIA Study report have either similar information, are not dated, or are not completely filled. This raises critical questions on stakeholder consultation and public participation.
EIA Study Review Phase
Key environmental, land, social and economic issues were strongly voiced by the community member who drew lessons from their experiences with other existing salt farms which have had negative impacts on their environment and lives.
- Land Issues: It was clear from the public’s views that the site for the proposed project belonged to community members who were forcefully evicted from their land following the issuance of a lease to Sola Salt Limited for purposes of salt mining many years ago. Community members further alluded to two previous agreements entered into between the squatters who lived on the land and the project proponents regarding the land issue, which were dishonored.
- The legality of the title deed to the land held by the proponent was questioned. The grants review by the National Land Commission (NLC) was produced to further prove the fact that indeed the title to land proposed for the project had been revoked and vested back to the County Government for purposes of settling squatters.
- Environmental Impacts: Drawing lessons from their previous experiences with existing salt farms, the community members and county leaders were able to articulate the existing negative environmental impacts resulting from salt mining in the area.
- The following were the main environmental impacts pointed out: Blockage of rivers due to the dykes; Diversion of rivers ;Alteration of the composition of soil making it unsuitable for farming; Clearing and destruction of mangrove; Poor waste disposal leading to death of fish and other biodiversity species; Salinization of freshwater sources and Dust pollution.
- The community members were not convinced that these impacts would be properly mitigated due to the continued lack of goodwill and trustworthiness by previous project proponent.
- The community stated that there were already too many salt farms established in the area and adding another one would only exacerbate the cumulative impacts of their operation of the people and the environment. For this reason, they suggested that it would be good to think of an alternative project that was environment friendly instead of a salt farm.
- Contrary to section 20 of the Climate Change Act 2016, the proponent had not conducted a climate change risk assessment. It was pointed out that the failure to include a climate change risk assessment was flawed and enough reason to warrant the denial of an EIA licence.
- According to the public’s evaluation of the report and the presentation by the proponent about the project, mitigation measures to reduce the impacts cited were not clear. The proponent seemed to only point out the positive impacts and downplay the long lasting negative consequences of the project.
- Economic Impacts: The public stated that the salt farms had a negative impact on the livelihood of the community. The salt farm operation particularly had an adverse impact on farming and fishing which were the main and leading sources of employment and livelihood for the members of the community.
- The fact that most of the freshwater sources in the area had also become too salty due to salinization further placed financial stress on community members who now have to buy water to sustain their needs.
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