KAZUNGU KAMBI

Human Rights Defender

Mombasa, Kenya

An environmental human rights defender from Magarini district, Kilifi County and works with Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action in advocating for the rights of the Magarini people to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as it ought to be.
The environment and eco-system of Magarini especially around the salt mining sites have been extremely degraded. There are seven factories all situated along the coastal belt. Over 100ha of mangrove forest has been cleared to either provide space for expansion or fuel for the factories. The corporate involved have even grabbed ancestral land rendering several families homeless. The waste which is extremely salty is being released into the ocean killing the fish and eventually depriving the residents of their livelihood. The salt mine workers, mostly men, have had cases of paralysis affecting their ability to fend for their family members, this leaves the women as the sole bread winners. The cases have been so extreme to the extent of people losing their lives. The residents were deprived of their participatory rights and some eventually signed documents that they could not understand indicating that they were squatters. The struggle for better living and working conditions for the Magarini people is still in progress.
Kazungu has mobilized local lobby efforts with the local and county authorities many times that have seen some liberties restored for the community. Illegal Displacement, Access to water, air pollution and ocean pollution remain a major challenge for the community.