The world over women have always been relegated to the periphery when it comes to important decisions that affect their lives and that of their livelihoods. In Kenya the story is not that different but far much worse in a project that has a magnitude that can drastically alter the trajectory of their lives and that of their communities.
In Lamu, like any other part of Kenya women are in charge of everything in their household but are often not well represented in the public sphere. There are however a few women leaders who are outspoken on women’s issues and they provide role models for many younger women in our society. Women feel strongly that their voices are crucial to the fight against coal because they are the first affected. Women are often not consulted and they lack information about these development.. The 1,050 MW proposed Lamu coal fired power plant is one project that will change the lives of women in Lamu in ways only imagined, disturbing an already fragile ecosystem that is currently under threat by the man-made port.
Women in Lamu have come out to realize their value and demanding their rightful share to participate in development that directly affects them. Recently a group of women came together to engage, share and learn from each other how they can positively take matters into their hands by sensitization including informing one another how the proposed coal power plant will affect their lives and how they can contribute meaningfully to make sure their voices are not only heard but also acted upon by authorities.
Save Lamu facilitated the two days meeting whereby women from different part of Lamu County were sensitized on how they can increase their advocacy work under the deCOALonize campaign to ensure their actions are concerted and impactful in relation to halting the construction of the coal power plant.
After the two day meeting the women came up with laid down strategies to increase awareness on the proposed coal power plant as well as how to engage other women in that everyone in the society to feel part of the decision made by the government and investors. ‘’You get in life what you have courage to ask for’’, Oprah Winfrey