Kenya: Kenyan farmers in a provincial district have stood up to big business putting up angry opposition to a proposal from Tullow Oil, Irish oil firm, to relocate its new exploration site at the Twiga 2 oil site in the Lochikar basin. Turkana elders have claimed that the ongoing oil exploration in the region has already interfered with – and affected – pasture land and that pasture for their animals will be further decimated if operations are commenced permanently. The elders who met Tullow Oil and ministry of energy officials demanded more consultations before Tullow Oil is given the green light to explore oil in more wells in the region.
Tullow and ministry officials pleaded with the locals to allow the explorations to take place since more wells are needed to boost commercial viability of the oil in the region which is at the production stage, however Turkana South MP James Lomenen said Tullow should slow the exploration until the disputed pasture land matters are addressed. The MP said the local communities were complaining that the oil explorations have caused more harm to the environment owing to the fact that pasture land is being interfered with in the ongoing oil exploration activities in the region.
Pastoralists further rejected a proposal by Tullow oil to put up a water project in the region as part of the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility. They argued that the water project would increase insecurity in the region as pastoralists would likely clash over the water source.
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