The National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) has revoked the Environmental Impact Assessment license for KiliAvo Farm Fresh Ltd following Monday’s ruling by the National Environment Tribunal (NET)to throw out the petition to halt NEMA from stopping the farm.
Efforts by the Kenyan agricultural company KiliAvo Fresh Ltd to overturn NEMA’s stop order were thwarted by the NET on Monday.
In their statement, NEMA referenced to the stop orders issued to KiliAvo Farm on 9th and 18th September, 2020 to cease all activities on the land that is deemed to be in the middle of a corridor that is essential for the dispersal and migration of one of the world’s most important elephant populations as well as zebra, wildebeest, gazelles, lions, leopard, hyena and cheetah.
NEMA’s revocation of KiliAvo’s EIA licence on Tuesday is a significant development in the controversial case, and has been welcomed by community members, conservationists and landowners who are alarmed at the explosion of unregulated developments that threaten to block Kenya’s vital wildlife corridors and dispersal areas putting most of the country’s famous wildlife at risk.
The steps taken by the Tribunal and NEMA also set precedence to anyone who might want to bring development into protected areas and critical wildlife migratory paths.
On hearing the ruling, Wildlife Direct Director, Dr. Kamau Gachigi, lauded NEMA’s Director General-Mamo B. Mamo saying, “Mr. Mamo B. Mamo is a no nonsense civil servant. This is a historic moment for Kenya”. Dr. Paula Kahumbu, Wildlife Direct CEO also added, “This is an important win for wildlife and Kenya. The destruction of wildlife buffer zones, dispersal areas and corridors has reached a tipping point and urgent enforcement is needed to mitigate these impacts.”
Despite both directives from the Tribunal and NEMA, photographs and videos from the site early on Tuesday reveal that the company has continued with clearing land and ploughing.
NEMA’s decision anchors on section 143 of EMCA, 1999 which provides that: “ANY PERSON who fails, neglects or refuses to comply with a Environmental Restoration Order made under this Act, COMMITS AN OFFENCE and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than four years or to a fine of not less than two million shillings and not more than four million shillings or to both such fine and imprisonment”.