Turkana residents to be involved in all Tullow Activities
British firm Tullow which discovered Oil in Turkana has initiated public education forums to involve communities and other stakeholders in the region in their explorations.
Turkana South DC Joseph Kanyiri said Tullow management and the government have been meeting stakeholders to discus the oil exploration activities in the county. He said the meetings are aimed at involving the community in all issues concerning the exploration.
Tullow is set to expand its activities after the initial oil discovery at Ngamia 1 area. “We do not want the communities in this region to feel left out in any way and that is why we have started the initiative to educate them on the resources including the Oil in this area,” said Kanyiri said. He said the oil discovery in the region is a blessing that should be used to benefit the local community and the country.
MPs from the region led by Josphat Nanok of Turkana South have also demanded that the local community be involved in all negotiations about the exploration and how to manage the oil resources. Experts from Tullow have been involved in the public meetings son far held to educate communities in the region. Civil Society groups in Turkana have also been demanding that the government make public all documents and details on oil exploration activities in the county.
The Greater Turkana Civil Society Network says the government should come out clear on the ownership of the land where Tullow has discovered oil deposits. The chief executive of the network of NGOs Eliud Emeri said some powerful individuals have secretly taken over the land from the Turkana community. However the DC said the government and the British firm had nothing to hide on the Oil exploration activities. “As government there is nothing to hide from the public and the local community should not be worried because we will explain to them everything”, said Kanyiri.
Tullow is expanding its area of exploration to cover Kerio Valley and parts of Pokot. Keiyo South DC Abas Muhammed said the firm has been licenced to carry out further exploration in parts of Keiyo, Marakwet and Pokot along the Kerio Valley region. The exploration in the new areas will begin within this year. Abas said communities in the new areas will also be involved in all plans. The region which has faced marginalization for long will heavily benefit from the Oil discoveries.