The tribunal said the National Environment Management Authority and the AMU Power Company had allowed public to give their views on the project before an environmental impact assessment was done. The public supported the project without the knowledge of a detrimental environmental impact assessment. The tribunal questioned whether the public would have supported the project had they known of its adverse effects.
Public participation must be a meaningful engagement, the tribunal said. "We find that NEMA acted in violation in issuing the first respondent (AMU Power) with an operating license without having adequately involved Lamu residents in public participation as required by the law," ruled Mohammed Balala, a judge of the Environment Tribunal.
American Ambassador Kyle McCarter publicly supported the plant in a series of tweets Tuesday night. He said that the U.S. state of Illinois, where he was a state senator, generates clean and cheap energy using coal. Some Kenyans disagreed with him arguing that corrupt Kenyan authorities cannot be trusted with environmental safety.