In 2012, the residents of Lamu Petitioned the High Court against the LAPSSET Project that was earmarked for ALmu and its environs. This matter was filed as Petition 22 of 2012 Mohamed Ali Baadi and Others vs the AG and others (Lamu Port case). In this suit, Katiba Institute lawyers represented the Residents of Lamu.
The case was heard by a four judge bench that consisted of Justices P. Nyamweya, J. Ngugi, B. T. Jaden and J. M. Mativo.
The petitioners presented the following questions to the court with regards to the LAPSSET Project for its determination on;
- Whether the Project is Procedurally Infirm
- Whether the County Government of Lamu was Involved in the Conceptualization and Implementation of the Project and if not the Consequences of such Non-involvement
- Whether there was Sufficient Public Participation as Required under Article 10 of the Constitution
- Whether the Petitioners Right to Access Information was Violated
- Whether the Petitioners’ Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment has been Violated
- Whether the Petitioners’ Traditional Fishing Rights have been Violated
- Whether the Petitioners’ Cultural Rights are threatened by the Project?
- Whether the Petitioners are Entitled to the Reliefs sought in the Petition
The case was successful on all grounds and the court found as follows:
1. There is a violation on public participation
2. There is a violation by not involving the county government of Lamu in the project
3. There is a violation on the right to information
4. There is a violation on the right to clean and healthy environment
5. The government has been ordered to report on external costs from the project
6. Traditional fishing rights recognized not just as a right but that it also amounts to property
7. There is a violation on right to culture
Court ordered for the ESIA report of the Lamu port to be sent back to NEMA to include what’s touched on the judgement.
The big win is that fishermen have been awarded 1.7billion Kenya shillings as compensation (to the about 5000 fisherfolk) which should be paid within a year. The court further awarded costs for expert and witnesses costs that were spent.
Save Lamu & five others v National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) & another