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ENERGY PROJECTS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPM

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ENERGY PROJECTS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF MARGINALIZED
COMMUNITIES IN KENYA
Martin Otundo Richard1, Emoit Dennis1 and Isaac Mwangi
1
2
PhD fellow Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology
PhD fellow University of Nairobi
3.
Lecturer University of Nairobi
Cite as: Otundo M., Emoit D. & Mwangi I. (2020). Energy Projects and Sustainable
Development of Marginalized Communities in Kenya. SODL, University of Nairobi.
Abstract:
Kenya has been faced with a number of challenges like hunger, drought, unpredictable rain
patterns which has led to the country’s desire to reduce its reliance on hydro energy and develop
more sustainable energy solutions. This gave birth to projects like the Turkana Wind Energy
Project that aims at addressing the issue of climate change globally, increasing grid connected
power in Kenya while at the improving the social economic status of the local community. The
Project has already started the generation of power to the national grid, with 25MW generated
in 2018. The Project has been said to have several positive impacts on the local communities,
including creation of jobs, improvement of local infrastructure, low cost of energy and cultural
integration. However, despite the fact that this ambitious project has been said to have a number
of benefits to the locals, it has been associated with a number of negative effects to both the local
community and the general ecosystem; calling for an in-depth examination into this area of
study. This study therefore was carried out with the aim of examining the influence wind energy
projects on the livelihood of marginalized communities in Kenya; A case of Lake Turkana wind
energy. In this research study, a cross sectional research design was adopted where variable
online data from a number of digital repositories published by NEMA, UNDP, UNEP, KNBS,
Kenya - d-portal, open data Kenya, afrobarometer, uon digital repository, KIPM among others.
This is a method used to narrow down a very wider field of research into an easily researchable
topic. This design was suitable to be used because of the large area of interest of the study
(Turkana County). The sampled considered online results from 20 (listed in appendix i) sites
were analyzed and reported in a descriptive manner that just gave the measures of central
tendencies by use of percentages in a descriptive statistical manner. Based on the analyzed
results, majority of the respondents in all the reviewed reliable data indicated that displacement
caused by the Lake Turkana Wind Project (LTWP) influences the livelihood of the Turkana
community in Turkana County as summed up by 87% score of analyzed informed. On average,
79% of the respondents indicated that biophysical environment has been affected by the LTWP
and has entirely influenced the lifestyles of the Turkana people. For example, in its construction
periods, majority of the locals (88%) argued that it accelerated soils erosion, 89% said it led to
loss of ecology, 90% today argue that the projects has led to increase noise and vibrations,
decreased air and water quality (86%), and has affected their eyesight of the various people in
the county (69%). Majority of the locals have a strong agreement that the project has influenced
the education sector in the county with and evident funded university besides other technical
colleges and secondary schools. On another occasion, majority of the respondents 78%
supported the idea that the wind project has been created by the creation of employment for the
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locals which has improved their living standards. Finally, a number of the respondents
supported the idea that the wind project has led to a number of health related complications for
the locals (55%).
1.1 Background of the Study
Globally, due to increased environmental pollution and harmful gases emission from
industrialized countries, adverse effects have been witnessed due to climate change. One major
country that has faced adverse effects of climate change due to uncontrolled environmental
pollution as a result of its industrial activities is China (Fang, et al. 2018; Zheng, Zhu, Wang,
Fang, 2016; Lu et al. 2018; The World Bank, 2015). According to Fang, et al. (2018) China has
the largest annual CO2 emissions in the world, placing it in the spotlight of efforts to manage
global Carbon emissions and design climate-change policy. To quantify the unbearable situation
in carbon emission in China that is greatly tied to climate change and global warming, the
researchers indicated that first, China accounted for 27.6% of the global CO 2 emissions from
fossil fuel combustion in 2013. Liu and Diamond (2015) have similar findings indicating that
fast economic development, along with the lack of strong environmental regulation, has resulted
in severe and widespread air, water, and soil pollution in China: a quarter of the nation‘s cities
are affected by acid rain; soil erosion affects 19% of its land area; about 75% of lakes are
polluted; and 15–20% of the country‘s species are endangered. Due to such challenges a number
of policies have been laid down in the recent past advocating for the adoption of green energy
projects in the country like the wind projects. This led to the growth in wind energy projects in
central China for the last 20 years by over 35%; although their effects on the lives of the local
communities are less documented (Li, 2018).
Africa is faced with a number of challenges that include: poverty, diseases, wars, political
conflicts, terrorism, social mistrust and many more; majority of which come up as a result
climate change and global warming (WGD, 2017; AfDB, 2017; UNDP, 2016 etc). According to
AU (2016) an urgent need of addressing the climate change impact in Africa by the various
stakeholders is very crucial due to a number of challenges that range from extreme droughts,
unpredictable rain patterns, poaching, communal wars, diseases etc. One measure of addressing
the climate change concept according to the report is the adoption and implementation of the
various projects that link sustainable development to climate change management like the
adoption of green energy. In Nigeria for example, approximately 61.9% of its population lives in
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less than 1$ dollar per day meaning that they are extremely poor despite the fact that the World
Bank Report of 2017 indicated that the country‘s economic growth improved (AfDB, 2017). Due
to such heartbreaking statistical facts, a number of sustainable development projects were
proposed in 2012 during the economic recovery strategy in Johannesburg for sustainable
development; among the being the adoption of the wind energy projects as alternative sources of
energy. This led to the construction of the Northwestern state of Katsina Wind project in 2015
with the main aim of providing alternative source of energy for over 25,000 homesteads besides
checking on climate change. However, there is no hand over evaluation that has been done to
examine the influence of this project on the lives of the locals and the ecosystem at large
(Onyedimmakachukwu, 2015).
Regionally, the effects of poor projects planning and implementation for economic development
are witnessed in Southern Sudan. According to UNDP (2018), poverty is endemic in the country
with at least 80 percent of the population defined as income-poor and living on an equivalent of
less than US$1 per day. This high rate of poverty is blamed on political disability that has led to
poor performance of development projects, poor planning and degradation of the local
environment (affecting the climate and later on exposing the citizens to extreme conditions like
acute food shortage, unpredictable droughts, rains and diseases outbreaks). UNDP (2017)notes
that, as much as there are a number of projects that have been proposed by UNDP and other
development partners, the war situation in the country has not allowed room for a detailed
research to be conducted to examine the influence of these projects on the livelihood of the local
people; calling for such studies.
In Kenya, the poverty index stands at 45.2 % while the index goes up to 70.2% in North Eastern
region. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2018), nationally, 45.2 percent of
the population lives below the poverty line and at county levels, the proportion of individuals
below the poverty line in Turkana (87.5 percent), Mandera (85.8 percent) and Wajir (84.2
percent) while at constituency level, the proportion of the population below the poverty line in
the poorest constituency (Turkana East) is 93.1 percent. Besides other factors, climate change
has been blamed for these high rates of poverty trends in the North Eastern part of Kenya. For
example the frequent droughts and unpredictable rain patterns have exposed the pastoralists
communities to loss of large of herds of cattle; their major source of income, thus exposing them
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to more poverty. Climate change is not only associated with droughts but has led to frequent
floods in areas like Turkana, Garissa, Wajir and more, the climate change has been blamed on
the outbreak of various diseases that have claimed the lives of the locals and the animals; leaving
theme more vulnerable to poverty. Such extreme occurrences have prompted the governments
(regional, national and county) and other development agencies like the NGOs, CBOs,
multinational corporations or agencies to come up with measures to address he challenges posed
by the climate change; thus initiatives like the wind and solar energy projects.
According to the Republic of Kenya (2018), due to a number of disasters that have faced the
country for the last three decades that are associated with climate change, there is an urgent need
of adoption of the green energy for development. According to the Republic of Kenya (2017),
one remarkable project that is said to be associated with a revolution in climate change and
increase of grid connected energy to increase the country‘s development and community
sustainability is the Lake Turkana Wind Project; that has attracted this study. Briefly, the Lake
Turkana Wind Power Project is one of Kenya‘s largest private investments of significant
strategic benefit to Kenya. The Project aims to generate 300MW of reliable, low cost wind
energy to the national grid, equivalent to over 20% of the current installed electricity generating
capacity. The wind farm site is located in Marsabit District in northern Kenya, approximately
50km north of South Horr Township and 8km east of Lake Turkana. The Project compromises of
a wind farm associated overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage switchyard. It
also includes rehabilitation of the existing road from Laisamis to the wind farm site, a distance of
approximately 200km, as well as plant and equipment lay-down areas, and access road network
in and around the site for construction, operations and maintenance purposes. Due to the
importance of this project to the national government and other investors, there was a need for
studies to be carried out to examine the relevance of this project to government, local community
and the environment in relation to climate change and management in general; calling for such a
study.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
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Kenya has been faced with a number of challenges like hunger, drought, unpredictable rain
patterns which has led to the country‘s desire to reduce its reliance on hydro energy and develop
more sustainable energy solutions. This gave birth to projects like the Turkana Wind Energy
Project that aims at addressing the issue of climate change globally, increasing grid connected
power in Kenya while at the improving the social economic status of the local community. The
Project has already started the generation of power to the national grid, with 25MW generated in
2018. The Project has been said to have several positive impacts on the local communities,
including creation of jobs, improvement of local infrastructure, low cost of energy and cultural
integration. However, despite the fact that this ambitious project has been said to have a number
of benefits to the locals, it has been associated with a number of negative effects to both the local
community and the general ecosystem (Oxfam, 2017; UNEP, 2017, NEMA, 2016 etc.). Some of
these include negative impacts on the bio-physical environment (erosion, loss of ecology,
increased noise & vibration, decreased air quality, decreased water quality, and visual intrusion),
public health issues, physical displacement etc. Due to such impacts associated with the Project
and other related projects, there is a need of a study to be carried out to examine the relevance of
these wind projects energy projects in addressing the issues surrounding the livelihoods of the
communities where they are established. The LTWP has not attracted much attention from the
various scholars as opposed to NGOs and other consulting firms; making it necessary for such a
study to be carried. In fact, despite the various efforts that have been directed towards the
project‘s success and the finance that has been allocated to the project, scholars (if any) have not
thrown their weight in examining the influence of this project on lives of the people of the
Persons Affected by the Project (PAPs); leaving a gap that this current study will address. This
study therefore was carried out with the aim of examining the influence wind energy projects on
the livelihood of marginalized communities in Kenya; A case of Lake Turkana wind energy
project.
1.3 General Objective
To examine the influence of wind energy development on the livelihoods of marginalized
communities in Kenya; A case of Lake Turkana Wind Project
1.4 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following five research questions:
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i.
To what extent does displacement caused by the Lake Turkana Wind Project (LTWP)
influences the livelihood of the Turkana community in Turkana County?
ii.
What is the extent to which negative impacts on the bio-physical environment caused by
the Lake Turkana Wind Project (LTWP) influences the livelihood of the Turkana
community in Turkana County
iii.
How does education providence by the Lake Turkana Wind Project (LTWP) influence
the livelihood of the Turkana community in Turkana County?
iv.
What is the extent to which jobs creation by the Lake Turkana Wind Project (LTWP)
influences the livelihood of the Turkana community in Turkana County?
v.
What is the extent to which health hazards caused by the Lake Turkana Wind Project
(LTWP) influence the livelihood of the Turkana community in Turkana County?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study shall be beneficial to the national government. The Kenyan government shall be able
to get the information in relation to the role of green energy projects in changing people‘s lives.
The information from this study shall conclusively inform the government on the state of green
energy projects with a specific emphasis on the wind energy project and how these projects
influence the lives of the local people and connect this to vision 2030 achievement. The study is
also expected to benefit various environmental management bodies and other bodies that are
concerned with climate change management and sustainable development. These bodies shall get
detailed information concerning the role of wind energy projects in the country in climate change
management, economic development acceleration and conflicts mitigation, environmental
conservation and preservation etc. These parties shall be advised on what is required of them in
order to ensure that the various projects that are aimed at to check the effects of climate change
and environmental conservation are sustainably implemented. Further, the study shall be useful
to the local community members, the local leadership and the county government ministry in
charge of economic development and environmental management and conservation. These
groups shall be varnished with firsthand information on the important role that the wind energy
project plays and what they should do to maximally benefit from the project. They shall be able
to understand the opportunities that accompany the projects from the social and economic ends
and embrace them for better development. Finally this study is expected to benefit this field of
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research (green energy projects implementation for climate change management). The various
scholars and researchers shall be able to get detailed researched work that can be used as a
referral during literature reviews in the field of wind energy projects for sustainable livelihoods.
Therefore the scholars and other research bodies shall be able to get detailed information on the
status of the wind project, its value to the locals and other stakeholders, its defective areas that
should be worked on etc.
1.6 Delimitation of the Research Limitations
The research paper delimited itself by examining the various effects of the wind project on the
livelihood of the local people of Turkana since its inception as documented in reliable sources of
secondary information that are trusted in Kenya‘s domain only. The sources of data shall be
discussed in section three that covers in a nutshell the various digested data domains adopted.
2.1 The Concept of Wind Energy Projects
In his study on the types of green energy whereby wind energy falls, Rogers (2016) has noted
that green energy represents all the clean sources of power that are generated using the natural
source of energy available on the planet, which are friendly with environment releasing zero
emissions and are also renewable. Ellabban et al (2014) have an observation that green energy is
basically renewable source of energy and it is said to be energy that is collected from renewable
resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain,
tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Being among the renewable energy sources, wind energy
projects are not only environmental friendly but pose much benefits to the individuals as
compared to non- renewable energy sources like petroleum. According to World Bank (2017);
UNEP (2019); and AsDB (2017), wind-generated electricity met nearly 4% of global electricity
demand in 2015, with nearly 63 GW of new wind power capacity installed. Wind energy was the
leading source of new capacity in Europe, the US and Canada, and the second largest in China.
In Denmark, wind energy met more than 40% of its electricity demand while Ireland, Portugal
and Spain each met nearly 20%.
Globally, the long-term technical potential of wind energy is believed to be five times total
current global energy production, or 40 times current electricity demand, assuming all practical
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barriers needed were overcome. This would require wind turbines to be installed over large
areas, particularly in areas of higher wind resources, such as offshore. As offshore wind speeds
average ~90% greater than that of land, so offshore resources can contribute substantially more
energy than land stationed turbines. In 2014 global wind generation was 706 terawatt-hours or
3% of the world‘s total electricity and it is projected to be over by 15% 2030 (IPCC, 2017).
According to World Bank (2017), wind energy has been a new development in African countries
that are challenged with extreme effects of climate change and environmental degradation. In the
Kano plains in Nigeria for example, after the destroyed environment due to poor petroleum
exploration and harvesting coupled with poor waste disposal, the fauna and flora or rather the
whole ecosystem was destroyed. This meant that the nature of lives of both the animals and
humans in this region was prone to a number of calamities like prolonged droughts, floods, poor
rain patterns, extreme events like famine and deaths caused by environmental pollution health
related hazards. The overall recommendation of the commencement of a Mega Wind power in
this western Africa giant was the only sure alternative way of producing power that could serve
the population while checking on climate change. AfDB (2018) indicated that the construction
of the Northwestern state of Katsina Wind project in 2015 provided energy today to over 25,000
homesteads besides checking on the effects of climate change. Generally, it can be argued that
wind energy is not only providing alternative source of energy to homesteads in Nigeria but also
playing a role in mitigating the effects of climate change.
In Kenya, wind energy is the next hope of alternative source of energy for its steadily growing
population besides other sources like geothermal and solar energy. Wind energy in the country is
favored over the other sources because of its abundance more specifically in the ASALs where
the strength of wind is relatively high and can be harvested easily as compared to other forms of
green energy (NEMA, 2017). According to Republic of Kenya (2017), the north-eastern parts of
the country are ideal for wind power generation, with Class I wind; making it very easy for wind
energy harvesting. Gitone (2015) adds that Kenya has estimated average wind speeds of between
3-10 m/s and this is a huge potential for production of wind energy. Areas with highest potential
are northern and eastern parts of the country.
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2.2.1 Extent to Displacement Caused by Wind Projects Influences the Livelihood of the
Local Community
In relation to various contexts, UNESCO (2017) defines displacement of people the forced
movement of people from their locality or environment and occupational activities. It is a form
of social change caused by a number of factors, the most common being armed conflict. Natural
disasters, famine, development and economic changes may also be a cause of displacement.
Being a development oriented initiative, green energy project of Wind power plants across the
globe can be said to be among the agents of people displacement. In their study on that focused
on population consequences of displacement from proposed offshore wind energy developments
for seabirds breeding at Scottish SPAs, Searle et al (2014) have indicated that, in regard to
population displacement resulting from development (where wind energy projects fall) there are
typically two types: direct displacement, which leads to actual displacement of people from their
locations and indirect displacement, which leads to a loss of livelihood. Forced to leave the home
region to which they are attached and for which they have the knowledge to make a living most
effectively, displaced populations often become impoverished.
Numerous documented evidences across the globe in relation to wind energy adoption and use
have shown that populations have been displaced from the natural settings and the displacement
has always been linked to a number of challenges (.UNESCO, 2017; UNDP, 2017; SIDA, 2018;
Searle et al. 2014; JNCC, 2015 etc). For example JNCC (2015) did a report on the Seabird
Displacement Impacts from Offshore Wind Farms in Scotland and found out that Offshore Wind
Farms are associated with people displacement. The people in this context include the fishermen
and other aquatic food harvesters while this displacement extends to include other sea aquatic
animals like the sea mammals and the seabirds. Searle et al (2014) did a study that focused on
population consequences of displacement from proposed offshore wind energy developments for
Seabirds breeding at Scottish SPAs and found out that the offshore wind energy project is
directly associated to people displacement. In this study, displacement was looked at as a
potential inhibitor to people‘s normal way of life (people having their fishing patterns in their
natural environment altered) that exposes them to new environmental challenges. Helen, Kate &
Maiwada and Adamu (2016) did a study in Katsina State of Nigeria and confirmed that the wind
energy projects influence people displacement significantly. In this study it was observed that the
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concept of people displacement led to resistance of the wind farms erection. Deploying a wind
farm in a local community sometimes raises local resistance due to the neighbors‘, uncertainty
and negative expectations about the wind turbines. Equally, resistance could come as a result of
the local community‘s fear of relocation to areas where they are not certain of the kind of life
they will find there (Ladan, 2016). According to GoN (2016) resistance in wind development
projects by the locals is tied to issues like: delayed compensations, poor channels of identifying
the real people to be compensated, little monies allocated for people‘s properties as
compensation, uncertainty of areas to relocate to among others (Ministry of Environment, 2017).
In Kenya, a number of studies have linked the major wind project to people displacement and
social conflicts. World Bank Report (2018) has indicated that, The Lake Turkana Wind Power
(LTWP) project has been responsible for people displacement; in some incidences leading to
conflicts. UNEP (2016a) while focusing on the issues surrounding the wind energy projects in
Kenya noted that wind power project in Kenya – with the 60MW Kinangop Wind Park project,
which had to close down had a number of issues similar to those facing the LTWP; central of
them being the land issue. According to AfDB (2017), as much as the LTWP is said to be
beneficial to the local community and the country at large, not everybody is welcoming the
project with open arms. The bone of contention lies in the manner in which 150,000 acres of
community land was allocated for development. It just so happens that this development is
taking place in an area that serves as a vegetation reservoir for pastoralists, where they take their
livestock during the dry season, after pasture has been depleted elsewhere. It is also a sacred
place for performing traditional rites of passage for the predominant local communities of
Rendille, Turkana, Samburu and El Molo.
While withdrawing its support for the project in 2012, the World Bank noted a great conflict
between the local community, KPLC, the defunct Marsabit County Council, (now the Marsabit
County Government) and other interested parties (World Bank, 2018). The manner in which the
defunct Marsabit County Council, (now the Marsabit County Government) acquired the
community land, made the locals raise a number of concerns that surrounded displacement and
forceful eviction. Besides, the locals complained of non-compensation, poor identification of the
real beneficiaries, poor channels of compensation (for those compensated), delayed
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compensation, underpaying and under evaluating of the community land, being forced out of
their sacred and spiritual sites and many more. Chelimo (2014) concludes that the development
projects carried out in Turkana face resistance from the locals due to a number of reasons. These
include: poor community inclusion in major decisions making, poor compensation for land and
other properties, fear of displacement and evictions, fear of community conflicts with other clans
to proposed areas of resettlement etc.
2.2.2 Extent to Which Negative Impacts on the Bio-Physical Environment Caused by the
Wind Energy Power Farms Influence the Livelihood of Communities
One major area where the wind energy farms have been faulted is the issue of interfering with
the natural environment and the ecosystem of given areas. In Scotland for example, Searle et al
(2014) clearly indicated that the noise and some tremors from the turbines that are used to
convert the wind energy made the surroundings very inhabitable for the fishermen, aquatic
animals and the seabirds. JNCC (2015) did a report and indicated that the project did not only
affect the surrounding populations of the Scottish people but its effects extended to include the
larger population that enjoyed the natural ecosystem. The project for example was blamed for
increased erosion, decreased water quality and loss of biodiversity in 2017 which is directly
linked to changes in the sociocultural constitution of the local populations and this extends to
socio- economic characteristics of the locals.
A number of studies on the influence of the Wind Energy Project in Katsina State Nigeria on the
livelihoods of the local community have confirmed that the wind energy farm has an influence
on the ecosystem structure and functioning (Maiwada and Adamu, 2016). Jaber (2013) noted that
there are two major ways that wind-energy development may influence ecosystem structure and
functioning. They are: direct impacts on individual organisms, and impacts on habitat structure
and functioning. This is because environmental influences of wind-energy facilities can
propagate across a wide range of spatial scales, from the location of a single turbine to
landscapes, regions, and the planet, and a range of temporal scales from short-term noise to longterm influences on habitat structure and influences on presence of species. Maiwada and Adamu
(2016) in a study in Malawi (Charanci Wind Mill Project) in 2014 indicated that the wind power
farm has much defective results to the natural environment and this affected the lifestyles of the
local people; both socially and economically..
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Roy and Traiteur (2017) confirm that Wind farms may affect weather in their immediate vicinity.
This turbulence from spinning wind turbine rotors increases vertical mixing of heat and water
vapour that affects the meteorological conditions downwind. Overall, wind farms lead to a slight
warming at night and a slight cooling during the day time. Some other effects are: direct loss of
natural habitats; fragmentation of natural habitats; alteration to drainage patterns; disturbance
from construction workers and deforestation or other land clearing. Kamandi (2016) Kenya
visited a number of research areas in Turkana and, below negative effects in relation to the
biophysical environment was seen: Noise by the wind generator, a source of pollution which
disturbs the local people that reside around such sites; and Destruction to natural beauty.
Chelimo (2014) asserts that energy project have a pronounced effect to the natural environment
and this significantly influences the livelihoods of the local populations. For example, erosion
that is related to these energy projects, both land and air pollution among other significantly
influences the live patterns of various individuals in the society.
According to NEMA (2016), the LTWP has been associated with a number physical impact
(site-specific negative impacts on the bio-physical environment of the Project area) including:
erosion (soil exposure due to land clearing during construction); Loss of Ecology (Destruction of
flora and fauna and disturbance of livestock due to construction (on site and along road
rehabilitation profile/borrow pit sites). The increase in noise during construction may scare away
wild animals. In addition, the presence of wind turbines and associated facilities may affect local
fauna populations by decreasing the area of habitat available); Increased Noise & Vibration
(Noise levels are likely to increase in the Project area (including road rehabilitation route) from
traffic and machinery during construction. During operation noise will be emitted from each
individual wind turbine; in addition the rehabilitated route will be increasingly utilized) etc.
Ewesit (2016) did a study on land use change and its impact on livelihoods: a case study of
Kalokol Division, Turkana County. In the study, respondents from 90 households and 5 key
informants were interviewed. Two focus group discussions one for men and another for women
were held. The results indicated that land use influences the livelihood of the local communities
significantly. For example, the introduction of the various Mega projects in Turkana like the
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Tullow oil exploration and the LTWP project have been associated with decreased water quality
and visual intrusion. In the case of the LTWP, decrease of the water quality is as a result of
increase in suspended particles due to construction works; risk of human contamination from
construction camps; and competition for water. Equally, the project is associated with visual
intrusion (Unsightly earthworks and borrow pits during construction. During operations, visual
intrusion of equipment on site, including the wind turbines and overhead cables, may be seen as
a negative impact at the local level).
2.2.3 Education Providence by Wind Energy Projects and Its Influence on the Livelihood of
the Local Communities
A number of studies across the globe have linked mega development projects to a concept of
corporate social responsibility. Education providence is one major indicator of companies that
are committed to CSR and the various wind energy farm projects in the world have not been
exception. In his study, Liu (2016) asserts that wind power projects in China besides producing
alternative sources of energy and ensuring climate change check, the various wind power farms
have been carrying out a number of CSR activities where education is among the core activities.
For example, it was noted that various wind plants partnered to fund various students to study in
various universities between 2014 and 2017 the various courses related to wind energy and
climate change management. In another study carried out by Bengtsson et al. (2017) that
focused on the effects of wind power on human interests, they have affirmed that the wind power
projects significantly influence the education status of the local communities. In areas where the
Wind Power Plants are erected, the local communities not only get employed in the various
departments but benefit from manpower development. The best known way of developing
manpower in a given community is through providing education. Well educated population has
the power to provide the expertise required to run the machines that convert the wind energy into
required power, they are able to manage the activities of the project and are able to come up with
innovative strategies that are geared towards ensuring sustainability of these projects (AfDB,
2017).
According to IEA (2017) report, over 20% of the students studying climate change management
and renewable sources of energy for sustainable development in France are funded or sponsored
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by the various wind power projects run under the program of green energy production for
sustainable development. Besides, the projects have been said to build a number of stand-alone
schools that run programs that prepare learners to be experts in either of the green energy
sources. In their study in Nigeria, Aliyu & Mohammed (2017) found out that Katsina Wind Farm
project has been carrying out education related activities in the towns of Jibiya, Katsina, Maiadua
and Daura. In June 2018 for example, the Wind Farm was recognized by the governor of the
Jibiya, Katsina State for having constructed a number of classes in schools in the four towns of
Jibiya, Katsina, Maiadua and Daura. Besides, the project through its CSR had renovated a
number of school enabling infrastructure, connected electricity grid to some schools, the project
had paid school fees through its scholarship program to a number of needy learners, it had built
new schools and had come up with exchange program to other countries for higher education
students in various fields (Ayoade et al. 2018). In another separate study, Ayoade et al. (2018)
found out that the Wind farm has been renovating a number of classes in secondary schools of
old Sokoto and Kano States as well as in Katsina state. Besides, new learning infrastructures
have been laid down by the project proponents, learners have been sponsored and the gender
issues in education have been addressed effectively.
According to Andiva (2018), Wind Power Project in Turkana has been associated with an
advantage of bringing on board an alternative source of energy to substitute electricity that leaves
majority of the Kenyans without connections. Equally, there is an agreement that through the
CSR, the project has already benefited the community by building learning institutions,
supporting the education of the girl child in the community, sponsoring the bright and needy
leaners to ensure proper manpower development among others. Imbiru (2016) carried out a
study in Ngong and Marsabit Wind Firms in Kenya and found out that besides cheap alternative
sources of electricity generation, the wind power project ensured that education standards among
the locals were elevated through various ways. In the spirit of empowering the local community
through education, a number of activities were therefore adopted and not limited to: Schools
construction; Schools renovation; School bursaries allocation; Employment of educators; School
materials donations; Advocacy for girl child education etc.
2.2.4 Jobs Creation and Livelihood of the Local Communities
According to World Bank (2015), one major reason of projects implementation is to spur
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economic development through changing the living standards of the citizens of a given country.
One major indicator of better living standard is the income levels of individuals and the more
individuals are accessing formal employment, the more income they are expected to access; thus
better living standards. Just like any other project that creates jobs for people; wind power farms
are also associated with a number of job opportunities (OECD, 2017). According to Oxfam
(2017), adoption of wind energy as an alternative source of power is able to create up to 25%
jobs annually in China and India while the creation of jobs by such projects can rise up to 30% in
a number of African countries. According to European Union (2017), wind power plants created
a number of employment opportunities across Europe; leading to better living standards and
economic growth. SIDA (2018) in its report on the importance of adoption of alternative sources
of green energy in Cambodia, alternative sources of green energy like wind, solar, geothermal
power create jobs for the local populations significantly. Besides the technical jobs that require
external manpower, the local community has ever benefited from the jobs whereby they get
employed as either casuals, support staff, non-skilled or at times as skilled labour while others
have been working in these projects permanently; changing their income level hence economic
development.
AfDB (2018) report published and presented in the annual report on the economic development
in Africa reported that over solar energy projects in south Africa created over one million seven
hundred jobs directly (people employed by the solar companies) or indirectly (individuals
vending solar related equipment). This was compared to wind energy that was said to have
directly employed over twenty thousand South Africans over the running period that took care of
the past five years. According to Republic of Kenya (2018), wind power projects in the country
have been credited for creating job opportunities. The country is in acute shortage of
employment opportunities due to the influx of graduates from universities and colleges and the
high population increase rates (Republic of Kenya, 2017); meaning that the government has to
use all the means to attract investors who in turn shall come up with development projects that
shall help ease the burden of unemployment (Republic of Kenya, 2018). One area that is said to
have created a number of jobs to the Kenyans since 2014 is the wind energy area of green power
production (The World Bank (2015). A number of employment opportunities have been created
by the LTWP as indicated by NEMA (2016). These jobs range from casual jobs created during
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the construction period, the permanent jobs that have been allocated to individuals with
experience, both skilled and non-skilled labour among others.
According to DEWI (2017) there are a number of opportunities that were created by the LTWP
at various levels since its inception in 2014. According to report, remarkable employment
opportunities included the employment opportunities for the local community during the
construction and operation phases of the Project e.g. security, masons, carpenters, cooks and
indirect spins-off, such as livestock and fish trade, ecotourism, etc. On the wind farm site, during
the peak construction phase: 600 workers, average was expected to be 300 workers; operational
phase was expected to be 150 employees. On the road rehabilitation route: anticipated 300 jobs
were created at any one time. Although creation of large scale employment was temporary, there
were increased jobs in nearby towns and throughout the country from expanding economy.
Mbaka (2016) in her study that focused on renewable sources of energy in Kenya concluded that
the sources of energy if adopted have an influence on the employment patterns to the local
communities.
2.2.5 Influence of Health Hazards Due to Wind Energy Projects on the Livelihood of the
Local Communities
A number of studies have indicated that the sound from the wind power turbines, the shadows,
pollution during the construction periods and many more are associated with people‘s poor
health. For example, Pierpont (2017)‘s work, ‗The Wind Turbine Syndrome,‘ is sometimes cited
as an argument for wind turbine noise causing a variety of serious symptoms. In this study where
an interview with 38 individuals from 10 families living near large wind turbines (1.5–3.0 MW)
was carried out, majority of the informants reported severe symptoms, including sleep
disturbance, headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, panic attacks and palpitations, symptoms that
had developed after the wind power plants being built near their homes. Pierpoint‘s interpretation
of the results is that the reported symptoms are due to low frequency noise and vibrations from
wind turbines affecting people‘s sense of balance (Pierpont, 2017). According to Salt & Hullar
(2017), people who live near the wind power farms have significant effects on the inner ear with
some cases in kids and aged people communicating partial deafness. According to Harding et al.
(2018) wind power plants expose the surrounding people to the risk for epileptics. According to
them, if the rotor blades obscure the sun more often than three times per second (3 Hz), there is
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some increased risk of seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Equally, Smedley et al.
(2015) points out, that there may be a risk for small wind turbines that block sunlight more than
three times per second. WHO (2017) reported that in South Africa, people who had epileptic
symptoms were many in areas surrounding the wind power plans as compared to people who live
far away from the plants.
According to Ayoade et al. (2018), during the construction period, air pollution exposes
individuals to respiratory track diseases; with major effects being felt among the children and the
aged in the community. Aliyu & Mohammed (2017) confirmed this finding by indicating that,
during the construction period of the wind projects, an influx of individuals who are either
employees in the projects or are involved in either ways come together and at times engage in
sexual immorality; leading to sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS. Van den Berg
(2014b) in his study on the relationship between noise from the turbines and proper sleep
disorder in individuals living next to wind power projects showed that stable atmospheric
conditions during the evening and night can lead to increased levels of wind turbine sound. At
the same time the levels of background noise increases. Measurements were made over a long
period showing that noise from wind turbines can vary up to 15 dB between night and day at the
same wind speed at 10 m height. These results are important when discussing potential effects of
wind power on sleep since such noise more specifically at night disturbance the sleeping patterns
of individuals with some developing insomnia disorder. Equally, icing of the blades is another
factor that can increase sound; thus affecting the sleeping patterns of individuals.
DEWI (2017) in its consultancy report on the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, Kenya has
indicated that there are health threats that have accompanied the project since it was incepted.
According to the report, the project is associated with public health issues like: Increase in risk of
sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV/AIDS etc. due to influx of migrant workers; solid
waste and effluent discharge from construction camps; risk of increase in vectors of
schistosomiasis and malaria due to stagnant water associated with construction works/borrow
pits etc. Once the road was rehabilitated, there was an increase in number of people using it and
hence increased interaction between local communities and road users; leading to increase in
sexually transmitted diseases and other vector diseases. WHO (2017) published a report
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indicating that major development projects in Kenya especially those in the energy sector are
associated with a number of health issues that affect the local communities. In this study, these
health issues were measured by examining the preference of sexually transmitted diseases since
the various projects were initiated, water related diseases due to water contamination with Base
Titanium being blamed of even leading to drying up of Nguluku river in Kwale county at
Manyani area, Airborne diseases, respiratory problems, Accidents, Malaria and other vector
diseases etc.
2.3 Theoretical Framework
Keynesian Theory of Economics
Keynesian economics was born during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The classical
economists had argued that the self-adjusting market mechanism would restore full employment
in the economy, should the economy deviate from the full employment path for some reason.
The experience of the Great Depression, however, showed that the market forces did not work as
well as the classical economists had believed. The unemployment rate in the United States rose
to above 25 percent of the labor force. Hard-working people were out in the street looking for
nonexisting jobs. Wages fell substantially, but the lower wages did not reestablish full
employment.
The English economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) argued that the self-adjusting market
forces would take a long time to restore full employment. He predicted that an economy can be
stuck at a high level of unemployment for a prolonged period, leading to untold miseries. Keynes
explained that the classical economics suffered from major flaws. Wages and prices are not as
flexible as classical economists assumed, in fact, nominal wages tend toward the downward
direction. Keynes further argued that classical economists had ignored a key factor that
determined the level of output and employment in the economy—the aggregate demand for
goods and services in the economy from all sources (consumers, businesses, government, and
foreigners). Producers produce (and provide employment in the process) to meet the demand for
their goods and services. If the level of aggregate demand is low, the economy would not create
enough jobs and unemployment can result. In other words, the free working of the
macroeconomy does not guarantee full employment—deficient aggregate demand can cause
unemployment. Thus, if the aggregate private demand (i.e., the aggregate demand excluding
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government spending) falls short of the demand level needed to generate full employment, the
government should step in to take up the slack.
The central issue underlying Keynesian thought was that those who have incomes demand goods
and services and, in turn, help to create jobs. The government should thus find a way to increase
aggregate demand. One direct way of doing so is to increase government spending. For example,
increased spending on a government project will generate jobs and incomes for the persons
employed on the project. This, in turn, would provide demand for goods and services from
private producers and generate additional employment in the private sector. The early Keynesian
economists thus recommended that the government should use fiscal policy (which includes
decisions regarding both government spending and taxes) to make up for the shortfall in private
aggregate demand and to create jobs in the private sector. Keynesian economists went so far as
to recommend that it may be worthwhile for the government to employ people to dig holes and
to fill them up. The theory was relevant to this study since it links employment, community and
the environment.
Theory of Livelihood Perspective and Rural Development
The theory was developed by Ian Scoones (2009). The theory postulates that livelihoods
perspectives have been central to rural development thinking and practice in the past decade.
Scoones (2009) further argued that diversity is the watchword, and livelihoods approaches have
challenged fundamentally single-sector approaches to solving complex rural development
problems. The appeal is simple: look at the real world, and try and understand things from local
perspectives. Responses that follow should articulate with such realities and not try and impose
artificial categories and divides on complex realities. Belonging to no discipline in particular,
livelihoods approaches can allow a bridging of divides, allowing different people to work
together, particularly across the natural and social sciences. Being focused on understanding
complex, local realities livelihoods approaches are an ideal entry point for participatory
approaches to inquiry, with negotiated learning between local people and outsiders (Ashley and
Carney, 1999).
Following the strong advocacy for sustainable livelihoods approaches in development from the
1990s, many development agencies started to advocate livelihoods approaches as central to their
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programming, and even organizational structures. Studies have indicated that, there is a rich and
important history that goes back another 50 or more years dating to the 2nd world war where a
cross-disciplinary livelihoods perspective has profoundly influenced rural development thinking
and practice. One early example is the work of the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute in what is today
Zambia. This involved collaborations of ecologists, anthropologists, agriculturalists and
economists looking at changing rural systems and their development challenges (Fardon, 1990).
The theory is significance to the study as it helps in understanding that livelihood development in
rural setup is key to economic development and the need to think of rural perspective in a
broader view and focused on understanding complex, local realities livelihoods approaches that
are an ideal entry point for participatory approaches to inquiry, with negotiated learning between
local people and exploration projects based in the marginalized communities. It is to this context
that the study seeks to find out the influence the exploration projects (wind energy being a solid
example) have on the rural livelihood devolvement of marginalized communities and on the
other hand help the stakeholders responsible for these projects to understand things from local
perspectives in order for sustainable development in such areas to be realized.
3.1 Research Methodology
A research design is considered as a scheme for research, dealing with at least four problems that
are in relation to the study case, that is, which questions to study, what data to collect, which data
is relevant and how to analyze the results. The best design normally depends on the research
questions and also the orientation of the researcher (Robson, 2003). In this research study, a
cross sectional research design was adopted where variable online data from a number of digital
repositories published by NEMA, UNDP, UNEP, KNBS, Kenya - d-portal, open data Kenya,
afrobarometer, uon digital repository, KIPM among others. This is a method used to narrow
down a very wider field of research into an easily researchable topic. This design was suitable to
be used because of the large area of interest of the study (Turkana County). The sampled
considered online results from 20 (listed in appendix i) sites were analyzed and reported in a
descriptive manner that just gave the measures of central tendencies by use of percentages in a
descriptive statistical manner.
3.3 Study Area
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According to the Republic of Kenya (2017), the wind farm site is located at the south eastern end
of Lake Turkana in a largely uninhabited, rocky, arid desert area. The footprint runs south
easterly direction from the south eastern shores of Lake Turkana and passes between two
mountain ranges (Mts. Kulal and Nyiru). The area has unique geographical conditions in which
daily temperature fluctuations generate strong predictable wind streams between Lake Turkana
(with relatively constant temperature) and the desert hinterland (with steep temperature
fluctuations). The Project area between Mt Kulal and Mt. Nyiru effectively acts as a funnel
whereby the wind streams are accelerated to speeds up to 15m/s. The climate of the Project area
is hot and very dry and is referred to as the Agro Climatic Zone VII. This zone is characterised
by very low rainfall and very high evaporation. The general patterns of rainfall in several areas in
Marsabit District are characterised by a distinct bimodal distribution pattern. Based on the
rainfall characteristic of the Agro Climatic Zone VII as recorded in the North Horr
Meteorological Station, the Project area rainfall is also very low, with a mean annual rainfall of
less than 300mm. The main wet season normally starts in March/April and lasts until May. The
short rains start in October/November and last until December. Generally, temperatures of the
Project area are high ranging between 27 oc to 35oc. Compared to the rest of Kenya, winds in the
proposed wind farm area are very strong. The winds are generated by a low level jet called the
Turkana Channel jet. The jet stream (discovered in 1981 by J. Kinuthia of the Kenyan
Meteorological Department), is caused by the much larger East African low level jet. The
Turkana Channel jet blows all year round from the south east through the valley between the
East African and the Ethiopian Highlands stretching from the ocean to the deserts in Sudan. The
wind is accelerated locally between Mt. Kulal (2,300m asl) and the Mt Nyiru Range (2,750m
asl). Due to thermal effects, the wind slows down during midday and is at full force during the
night. The average wind speed in the Project area has been recorded to be 11m/s (as compared
with a high average in Europe of 7m/s).
Figure 1: Summary Map of the Project Location and Various Upgraded or Rehabilitated
Roads
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Source: NEMA Report (2017).
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4.1 Results
A result was reviewed from 20 reliable sources majority of which were digital repositories or
online libraries with three of them being exact data online analytic firms like afrobarometer,
KNBS and open data network Kenya. Based on the analyzed results, majority of the respondents
in all the reviewed reliable data indicated that displacement caused by the Lake Turkana Wind
Project (LTWP) influences the livelihood of the Turkana community in Turkana County as
summed up by 87% score of analyzed informed. On average, majority of the respondents in the
analyzed data indicated that 90% of the locals of Turkana County cited forced displacement as
one effect of the LTWP that has affected their lives to-date. Further, 87% of the locals said that
they were involuntary moved from their homes, 90% said they were given insufficient
compensation while the other 75% said that they faced displacement/resettlement conflicts.
When analyzed using stepwise and standard regression in some documented facts, it was realized
that displacement has a general deteriorating living conditions of the pastoralist Turkana people.
On average, 79% of the respondents as reported by NEMA, UNEP, afrobarometer, and many
more indicated that biophysical environment has been affected by the LTWP and has entirely
influenced the lifestyles of the Turkana people. For example, in its construction periods, majority
of the locals (88%) argued that it accelerated soils erosion, 89% said it led to loss of ecology,
90% today argue that the projects has led to increase noise and vibrations, decreased air and
water quality (86%), and has affected their eyesight of the various people in the county (69%).
Majority of the locals have a strong agreement that the project has influenced the education
sector in the county with and evident funded university besides other technical colleges and
secondary schools. Basically, an average of 77% of the sampled respondents from the various
areas indicated that schools constructions, schools renovation, school bursaries, employment of
educators, school materials donations, and advocacy for girl child education are some of the
education related norms that have been availed for the local Turkana People. On another
occasion, majority of the respondents 78% supported the idea that the wind project has been
created by the creation of employment for the locals which has improved their living standards.
According to the figures, Permanent jobs have been rated at 62%, Temporary jobs at 89%,
Skilled labour from locals (61%), Non-skilled labour from locals (80%), Casual jobs to locals
(67%), and Indirect spinoff jobs (51%). Finally, a number of the respondents supported the idea
that the wind project has led to a number of health related complications for the locals (55%).
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5.1 Conclusion
Based on the results analyzed and those documented in the literature reviewed, the paper
concludes that the various stakeholders have not addressed the issues of displacement, health
hazards and the environmental degradation. These components should be carefully revisited for
the community to benefit effectively at all levels for sustainable performance of the project.
Equally, the employment patterns should be reviewed since there has been a positive creation of
job opportunities that affect the lives of the locals positively but the expertise jobs and the
permanent jobs seem to lock out the locals. Finally the study concludes that the community in
Turkana has been benefiting whereby its learners have been allocated study grants and bursaries,
education centers have been built and the already aging ones have been renovated. However
more needs to be done whereby about 5% of the income gained by the project should be injected
into the education sector.
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