Anastasia Nambo, from Mombasa County, won the 2018 Human Rights Defender of the year award alongside Save Lamu co-founder Is’shaq Abubakar.
The Working Group on Human Defenders and National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders organised the ceremony, held on Friday November 30, 2018 at the Belgian ambassadorial residence.
Nambo is a Mombase-based environmental activist who started her activism in 2009. She is also a preacher and a mother. She opposed establishment of a metal refinery in Uhuru Owino slums, Mombasa.
The refinery had adverse effects on locals forcing her to lobby for its closure. Her local community supported her as she received threats. She was once forced to flee to Uganda for her safety.
Luckily, her effort was rewarded after five years when the refinery was shut down in 2014.
On his part, Abubakar, works with local communities in Lamu. He is also an environmental rights activist.
He co-founded Save Lamu, an umbrella of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) which teaches Lamu residents environmental impacts of the Lapsset project. The entity also seeks legal redress for affected locals.
Abubakar has faced the wrath of the police but was supported by other organisations like Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI).