It was an amazing experience mingling with Energy people, some few weeks ago, during a retreat. The discussions, chats, and presentations continued to make it more clear how Energy and Climate Change are inseparable.
How Green is Green Energy?
As we strive for Green energy, do we consider how we get it or are lives affected as we get it? Or are these living organisms just a number? Or is the greater good, is what matters?
We toured the geothermal plants, got to know how everything started, where the plant is at, and where it has led to the mapping of Kenya when it comes to green energy.
From the presentations, and information is given. You could say, we are doing extremely well. But I had a problem with all that.
The geothermal plant is located within a park, Hell`s Gate National Park, the only park where you can enjoy a game drive through cycling. A park to a wide range of wildlife species, that needed protection.
As the wells continue to be dug within the park, that means, more wildlife land is gone. They told us that the pipes have been made in such a way that wildlife way of passage is not blocked. But which wildlife will dare go to a noisy place where humans are working?
We do have tarmacked roads, all thanks to geothermal. You all know wildlife doesn’t do well with tarmacked roads, speeding cars will continue to hit the wildlife. Not mentioning the bird’s nesting areas that may be found in potential good areas.
We even have a SPA, for people to enjoy the
MAGIC geothermal water. So wildlife not only gives room for geothermal plants, they have to allow humans some entertainment space. Do you remember the public uproar when some people took a whole party inside the park and the recent Safari rally?
All these events saw it was fit to do whatever they did since they promised to invest back in wildlife and plant some trees. In short, you get yourself knocked by a car, then head to the hospital.
What about the local communities?
We had people who got displaced by geothermal activities. According to KENGEN people, the local communities were relocated. Does the new place look anything close to the previous home? Just google the displaced people by KENGEN, you will get the picture.
It left me wondering if these hot springs were found in estates occupied by the rich. Would they have been treated the same as the ones at Hell’s Gate? If it was not Hell’s gate, but one of the premium parks, would the same fate befall wildlife there?
This takes me back to my first question, How green is green energy?
All is not lost, we have people who have all these in mind
During the retreat, we were able to have some amazing youth who had taken part in a writing competition on Energy. They helped explain the motivation behind their essays and related it to our daily life activities. They were both practical and realistic. Exactly what we need when it comes to curbing climate change.
We also got to witness the launch of the Kenya Energy Research Compendium: Energy for What? Contemporary Energy Issues & Dilemmas in Kenya. A book I highly recommend for anyone who would love to understand more about Energy and how it relates with everything else as we embrace Climate Action.
I don’t think it’s okay to do the wrong thing or affect others negatively, just because you are after doing the GREATER GOOD.
Climate action is not about perfection, but rather a progress. We should be able to be inclusive and considerate to all living things. After all, we are saving the planet, for the same living organisms.
Local communities should be at the center of all these major decisions that continue to affect them directly. They too deserve to be listened to and be part of these decisions.
I wasn’t aware that Kenya is developing geothermal energy – it should be a step forward in the long run (few countries have even considered it), but I’m not surprised that it causes problems. In Canada where I live, we are slowly – very slowly – learning to lesson the effect of heavily-travelled roads/highways with overpasses and underpasses for wildlife. If they are placed well, the animals catch on quickly. Often that’s because many are on land belonging to native people, who choose the spots, monitor them, etc.
Geothermal has been around in Kenya for a while now, placing the country on good progress when it comes to green energy. Unfortunately , it has also been a pain to some people affected. Sadly, wildlife continues to be affected negatively when human activities heightens in any given place. We are yet to meet that balance.
This is a really great article. I wasn’t aware that even climate correct businesses were able to build on what I consider sacred land in Kenya. Here in the western US, the developers have tried to build and develop in the Grand Canyon and other natural, sacred areas too, although not green businesses, but destructive of the land and the wildlife. Another battle for those of us who are trying to promote sustainability and conservation. Thanks for sharing the importance of being mindful of how we are working to save our planet.
Thank you very much dear. We need to continue pushing for the fair balance, to ensure we dont destroy others as we push for what we consider to be better for our planet. Every life is important and needs to be protected. Keep up the good job.