Ancient Kenyan island threatened by R377 billion development project

2019-10-29 16:45
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During the 14th century it was the most important trade hub in the centre of East Africa. Now, Lamu Island, which forms part of the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya is almost frozen in time.

Lamu Old Town is the oldest and most beautifully preserved Swahili settlement in the region, and has Unesco World Heritage status. Here, the charming culture is incredibly unique as over centuries it has been a melting pot of various influences. From Chinese to Portuguese, to Indian and Arabian, visitors brought and shared their food, spices, lifestyle, art, architecture and language, defining these shores by its amalgamation of identities.

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School girls going to school along the beach, Lamu

(Credit: John Seaton Callahan. Getty Images)

But the island's multicultural existence is now under threat. A £20bn (R377 billion) development infrastructure project, dubbed Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport Corridor could see this island experience a vast amount of changes over the next few years. Potentially disrupting its very essence, says BBC.

This massive project hopes to link Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan by means of extensive railways, highways, pipelines and a deep-sea port, situated in Lamu. Worse yet, this corridor will sit alongside a Chinese-funded coal plant said to up the area's greenhouse gases to 700%.

The humanity!

School girls going to school along the beach, Lamu

(Credit: Tuul & Bruno Morandi. Getty Images) 

School girls going to school along the beach, Lamu

(Credit: © Santiago Urquijo. Getty Images)


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