Court halts Sh47bn Dandora plant tender awarded to Chinese firm
The Nairobi County government’s proposed mega project to convert waste at the Dandora dumpsite into energy has suffered a major setback at the Environment and Land Court in Nairobi.
This follows a successful petition by Dandora resident Advin Muthomi Mbae, who challenged the county for awarding a tender to a Chinese company to set up a 45 megawatt waste-to-energy plant at a cost of Sh47 billion.
Justice Edward Wabwotto issued the order temporarily stopping China National Electric Engineering Company from proceeding with the project until the matter is heard and determined by the court.
“That prayer 2 of the application is granted. That the matter be mentioned for further directions before PJ, Environment and Planning Division, ELC, Milimani on 23rd October 2023,” order issued by justice Wabwotto on Monday reads.
Muthomi argued that the process of advertising, evaluating and awarding the said tender was done in an opaque manner without public participation, in contravention of Article 10 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Kenya on National Values and Principles of Governance, which includes public participation.
The petitioner added that if the court allows the company to proceed with the project, the general public and residents of Dandora will be directly affected, yet they were not been informed or given an opportunity to air their grievances.
“That the residents of Dandora and Nairobi City County and particularly the petitioner avers that the 1st respondent who is the contracting authority did not conduct a feasibility study while the 3rd applicant did not conduct an environmental impact assessment on the said project before approving its suitability on the earmarked site.”
The petitioner also stated that the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority in a survey done on July 6, 2021 refused to grant approval for construction of Chimney at the Dandora Site, where the waste to energy plant is earmarked for development on grounds that the site falls directly within the fright path and the waste incinerator is en incompatible land use.
Further, Mr Wabwotto stated that in 2019, the court ordered the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to take steps to decommission Dandora dumpsite and relocate it to another site within six months. This comes amid another petition in court accusing the county of court contempt.