Solomon Njenga

University of Nairobi, Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, College of Biological and Physical Sciences

Solomon Njenga is pursuing his 2nd Ph.D in Climate Change and Adaptation at the Institute of Climate Change - University of Nairobi, Kenya. His 1st Ph.D is in International Peace and Conflict Studies. He majored on Extractives and Natural Resource Conflict Management.

Solomon has worked for more than 15 years as a senior lecturer at universities in Kenya and abroad. He is an accomplished lecturer and practitioner in environmental studies, peacebuilding, and climate change. Solomon has written widely on blue economy, climate change, human-wildlife conflict, extraction, and climate justice.

His research is based on the premise that countries like African countries are least responsible for causing climate change, yet are the ones suffering most from its effects. The new scramble for Africa by the rich countries of the World has seen massive funding of projects in Africa in disregard for environmental conservation. A case in point is the ongoing Lamu Port in Lamu County, Kenya. The port infrastructure in itself carries significant socio-economic benefits but lies on the bed of environmental degradation. The ongoing port project is within the larger Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia (L APSSET) corridor project. Solomon’s Ph.D research at the University of Nairobi is on the impact of the Lamu Port on Mangroves and Community’s Resilience to Climate Justice in Lamu County, Kenya.

QES project: Impact of Lamu Port on Mangroves and Community’s Response to Climate Justice in Lamu County, Kenya

The Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia (LAPSSET) corridor project is a regional flagship project between Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. The Lamu Port is one of the ongoing key infrastructural projects as envisioned in the Kenya Vision 2030. The Lamu Port infrastructure carries a significant socio-economic and environmental cost.

A number of knowledge gaps stand in the way of sustainable implementation of the Lamu Port. First—knowledge of port infrastructure (as a concept and the practice) and its impact on community and mangroves ecosystems remains limited. Second - There is limited knowledge on the role of mangrove forests on rainfall patterns in areas like Lamu that are experiencing water shortages and severe drought. Third - There is limited knowledge on matters of climate justice, equity and fairness – i.e. social economic and environmental injustices for the Lamu community and forth, there is no recognized Public-Participation-Framework (PPF) for environmental – marine ecosystem conservation towards climate justice and climate change adaptation. The major challenge is protecting the environment and the rights and livelihoods of the community that falls within the project area. The general objective of the research is to study the climate-relevant impacts of the Lamu Port on mangroves and community’s resilience to climate justice with a view to identifying knowledge gap and recommending realistic policies and practical solutions to climate justice effects, pathways and adaptation approaches to climate change for urgent and appropriate action by the Lamu community, the government of Kenya, the international community and other policymakers.

The specific objectives of the study are: To quantify the loss and degradation of mangrove along the Lamu Port and to enhance Public-Participation-Framework (PPF) for climate justice in Lamu. As a social science study, both qualitative and quantitative research designs will be employed. Primary and secondary data will be used. Key informants, household surveys, literature review, field visits, focus group discussions (FDGs), interviews and questionnaires will be administered. Data will be analyzed, interpolated and tabulated. Knowledge gaps for further research will be identified and practical applications will be drawn.