Police officer sustains injury as chaos erupt in Kilifi over nuclear plant project

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 22 May, 2024 15:07 | 2 mins read
Image used for representation. PHOTO/Pexels.
Image used for representation. PHOTO/Pexels.

A police officer has sustained minor injuries after he was caught in the fracas that broke out in the Uyombo area, Kilifi County on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

The law enforcement officer was hit on the head while engaging hundreds of protesters in a running battle. He was among the officers who were called to action after the protesters paralysed transport and businesses by lighting bonfires and blocking the roads.

Several other residents were also hurt as what was touted to be a peaceful demonstration turned out to be chaotic.

According to the irate residents who lit bonfires and blocked roads leading to the area, they were not consulted before approving the construction of nuclear power generating plant.

Police reflector vest. PHOTO/Getty Images
Police reflector vest. PHOTO/Getty Images

They expressed their frustrations with the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) insisting that are not sure how the community will benefit from the project.

"Many people have been hurt during the protests including women. We want to tell the government that we don't want this nuclear project to be set up in Uyombo," one of the residents stated.

Another resident stated that the government has not sensitised the community on the expected impact of the project.

"The plant is set to be constructed near the ocean and we are certain that nothing will done if the project proceeds. We are also aware that the residents will be required to relocate to pave the way for its construction," another resident stated while appealing to the government to address the contested issues.

"The residents have said that they have an issue about this project and we ask the government to look into their concerns," one of the protestors added.

Benefits of the project

The contested Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) was conceived to generate 1,000 megawatts by 2034 to cater for Kenya's soaring energy needs and spur industrial development.

However, the project implementation has faced headwinds due to resident's concerns over its impact. During a past public participation forum, Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) indicated that most residents have opposed the project to misinformation.

Nonetheless, Uyombo Madeteni B village elder Katsaka Kirao urged residents to consider the future and the next generation.

A small boat sailing in Uyombo village in Kilifi County. PHOTO/ Mapcarta.

“Energy consumption in the country is growing. We must diversify production and ensure stable generation of clean energy," Kirao stated.

"The problem is a group of people has been misinterpreting the information to residents. When we were first told about the project, we didn't understand, so another group came in and told us that the project was bad and it would kill people. Because of this, it caused a lot of panic and people had a negative perception of the project," he explained.

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