Strategic Litigation

1. “Tuna Sauti” Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Access to Justice as a right.

Over the last one year CJGEA with the support of KIOS has successfully implemented the project entitled “Tuna Sauti” Using media as a tool for environment and socio economic rights. The project aimed at building on and harmonizing the ongoing work on the impact environmental impunity on social welfare and human rights of Kenyans with a focus on access to medicines, access to water and access to a general clean and healthy environment.
Although the component supported by KIOS was focusing on ensuring media engagement, it also greatly supported our litigation work on the right to a clean healthy and sustainable environment. As we implemented this project we were undertaking a major constitutional case on the right to a clean healthy environment which also has a strong human rights focus. These projects have provided a basis for our work on the right to to a clean healthy and sustainable environment and has enabled us to work with the wider civil society groups to promote these right in Kenya.

In addition, the projects have also enabled us to penetrate the key processes and systems of government which are key for the realisation of the right to a clean environment. Our work in the next couple of months will focus on building these synergies and having major impacts on holding the government accountable towards its citizens in the area of the right to a clean environment and other procedural rights to the achievement of these right.

Overall Objective:
To use Litigation and media engagement strategies coupled with civil society activism to challenge violations occurring in environmental governance system; inappropriate state and non-state action and provision of specialized services to the indigent and marginalized groups to promote the right to a clean environment in Kenya. This project will thus have following Specific objectives:-
1. Conduct a public interest case challenging the violation of the right to a clean and healthy environment from the extractive industries in Mombasa
2. Conduct a media fellowship on the right to a clean and healthy environment in a human rights based approach
3. Develop a human rights based manual for trading and develop other IEC materials on the right to clean and healthy environment
4. Engage the responsibility of state and non state actors for the violations of the communities’ environmental rights related to the harm caused by Extractives by laying a unique precedent in the sector.

The major achievements realized include:-
(i) CJGEA filed a constitutional petition in form of a class action suit challenging the responsibility of state and non state actors to words protection of environmental and socio economic rights.
(ii) CJGEA made Lead poisoning a national issue that triggered discussions nationwide.
(iii) The Owino Uhuru community capacity was extensively built and a random sampling conducted showed that the residents understood their environmental rights, source and effect of lead poisoning including avenues that they can use to access effective remedy using the Kenyan constitution 2010.
(iv) CJGEA received request for support from 3 communities;Naivasha, Jua Kali in Eldoret and Imara Daima in Nairobi who are experiencing pollution and negative impacts of extractive industries located around them. CJGEA has not been able to directly assist these other communities due to it’s current funding capacity. CJGEA work was recognized internationally when the Director Phyllis Omido was awarded The Goldman Foundation environmental prize 2015 for Africa, which has put CJGEA on the global map.
View Petition

2. Owino Uhuru Land case.

Historical land injustices are a rampant ill in the coast of Kenya. Corruption within the land governance system is a well known thorn in the flesh for Kenyans. After beginning the campaign highlighting the case of (Pb) lead poisoning and running the”media as a tool” campaign as part of the “Tuna sauti campaign”, the community was sued by powerful interests who had obtained a land title deed that claimed the land in which the Owino Uhuru community has stood on since 1963. Owino Uhuru is a community very near the port of Mombasa and on the Mombasa Nairobi Highway making it very lucrative for powerful business interests. CJGEA’s strategy managed to win the civil case but it was immediately appealed at the court of appeal. We are glad that the court of appeal has upheld the victory for the Owino Uhuru community who now own their land by the ruling of the court citing adverse possession. We celebrate the victory with all who make it possible for our poor and marginalized communities to access socioeconomic justice by your support.
Civil Suit 2009
Civil Appeal 2015