Environmental Impact Assessments, Audits
By a notice of Appeal, the Appellants Narok County Council and the Kenya Tourism Federation filed an Appeal against the 1st Respondents’ issuance of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate to the 2nd Respondent, Wasafiri Camp Limited. The grounds stated by the 1st Appellant were that, the Respondents did not publish the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Project Report for the public to respond; no public hearings were held in order to involve major stake holders and affected parties; the 1st Respondents did not address themselves to the cumulative environmental impact of the development on the Masaai Mara ecosystem; the 1st Respondents went against the recommendations of their own technical against the proposed development and the 2nd Respondent carried out the development of Wasafiri camp without complying with the relevant laws, by laws and guidelines governing the site region. The 2nd Appellants grounds were that, the 1st Respondent approved the 2nd Respondents EIA project report even though it did not conform to the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Audit Regulations; there was lack of adequate participation by stake holders and furthermore the report did not indicate the cumulative environmental impacts of the proposed development; the 1st Respondents in reaching their decision, ignored the views from various stakeholders, affected parties and their own technical team and thus acted contrary to their objects and functions as prescribed in the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA). In Response to the Appellants allegations the 1st Respondent stated that the procedure and steps followed were proper, and in accordance with EIA and Audit regulations and that they did not provide for a public hearing to be held. The 2nd Respondents stated in their response that the Appellants had no locus standi to prefer an appeal under EMCA and challenged the power of a warden to prefer an appeal on behalf of Narok county council. They stated that the entire appeal was based on false information. The intervenors stated that the development was on private land and that the appellants acting based on self interest rather than environmental conservation. The Tribunal after reviewing the matter unanimously ordered that, NEMA’s approval of the 2nd Respondents EIA Project report be set aside; the project proponent prepare and submit a full EIA study report in accordance with EMCA to NEMA for determination thereon, furthermore, no further development activity was to take place till this was done.