Natural Justice, a non-profit environmental law organization, recently convened a meeting with Kwale Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to understand the strategic interventions undertaken by the CSOs in Kwale to support affected communities and uphold their environmental, livelihoods, and socio-cultural rights.
The exercise involved convening a meeting with Kwale CSOs to understand their involvement in environmental and climate justice issues in Kwale, the strategic interventions they have undertaken to address the issues and identify gaps.
This exercise was a follow-up to a couple of scoping exercises that Natural Justice started in 2022 to establish our involvement or support to the community in accordance with Natural Justice principles and values as an organization- lawyering for community and environment.
In 2022, Natural Justice initiated a baseline/scoping exercise to ascertain the extent of the impacts of existing and proposed projects on the livelihoods of local communities and obtain community voices critical in getting an in-depth understanding of their concerns. Other stakeholders engaged included key representatives and officials from the county government.
During the Kwale CSOs meeting, Natural Justice identified several mining companies operating in the area and the specific areas of concern for the different communities in the county. The grievances raised included;
- Displacement of communities.
- Destruction of crops and livestock.
- Water pollution.
- The degradation of the natural environment.
Natural Justice will now use the scoping exercise findings to develop a strategy to support communities in addressing their grievances. The strategy will include providing legal and technical support to enable communities to hold mining companies accountable and seek redress for environmental and social harm caused by mining activities.
The scoping exercise is part of Natural Justice’s efforts to promote environmental justice in Kenya and ensure that communities have access to the resources and support they need to protect their rights and the environment.