Tullow Kenya has announced it has completed a series of meetings in Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo Counties which were undertaken to update local leaders, area representatives, and the community on the impending Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to be conducted ahead of the start of oil exploration drilling in Block 12A.
Issues discussed during the meetings included access to land, compensation, as well as employment opportunities for local people. They also discussed social investment projects that Tullow would implement for the benefit of the community.
Tullow assured the community that during exploration, access to land would only be required on a temporary basis and would be undertaken in accordance with the relevant laws, and in consultation with all relevant government agencies, county leadership as well as the local community.
The company further stressed that it was committed to ensuring that, wherever possible, goods and services would be sourced from local businesses, and that local workers would receive priority when it came to filling job vacancies.
The community and leaders were also assured that the exploration would not negatively affect the area’s wildlife as Tullow has a policy of not directly drilling in protected areas. The company will employ directional drilling technology to avoid interfering with wildlife migration routes.
Tullow Kenya activities are guided by respect for the priorities, culture, values, and way of life of the communities we work with, as well as by the highest environmental, health and safety standards through proactive internal policies and guidelines as well as adherence to global best practice.
The company remains committed to working with all stakeholders to promote the growth of a vibrant and responsible oil industry in Kenya.
This year, Tullow has set aside Kshs 400 million to implement community projects across all its areas of operation. These projects will focus on improving access to quality education, clean water as well as health. Last month the company donated a mobile clinic valued at Kshs 14 million to the Baringo County government through the First Lady’s Beyond Zero Campaign.
It was one of seven mobile clinics that will be donated to the campaign at a total cost of Kshs 100 million. A second clinic will soon be handed over to the Elgeyo Marakwet County government.
Further, 5 scholars from the two counties have been awarded scholarships worth Kshs 25 million under the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme to pursue post-graduate qualifications in prestigious universities in the UK.
The company also continues to support bursaries for needy students in the two counties. So far, more than 1,300 students have benefited from the bursary program with over Kshs 10 million being spent.
As at the end of August 2014, 2,187 out of the 3,619 staff employed by Tullow and its contractors came from Turkana. In short, six out of every ten employees working for Tullow and its various contractors are from Turkana County.
Further, businesses based in Turkana provided goods and services worth over Kshs 140 million to Tullow and its contractors in the month of August, with women and youth groups forming part of the supply chain.