12 June 2012

Kenya: Turkana Wants 25 Percent Share of Oil Wealth

A fresh dispute has erupted over oil exploration by British firm Tullow in Turkana County. The Turkana County Council has written to the government demanding that the exploration be halted until an agreement is reached on how to share oil revenue. Turkana County Counci Chairman Eliud Ekero says in his letter to the Ministry of Energy that the residents should get not less than 25 per cent of the proceeds. "There are issues which as leaders and residents of Turkana, we have to agree on with Tullow and the government so that the exploration exercise can go on smoothly," said Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro.

Tullow discovered the Oil deposits at a location named Ngamia 1 two month ago and the company has been working to expand the exploration in Turkana South after it discovered more deposits in the region. Turkana South DC Joseph Kanyiri says the government has been holding meetings with communities in the region to educate them on the exploration exercise so that facts about the exercise are not distorted.

Tullow and the government has agreed that 15 per cent of the revenues will go the community in the area but the council wants the figures revised. Kanyiri has also confirmed that all necessary procedures were followed before the exploration began. "All the reports on the exercise including the environmental impact assessment details are available for public scrutiny". A section of professions from the county have also threatened to go to court to stop the exploration until the controversies are resolved.

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