Kenya Pipeline denies link to Eldoret oil spill

Wednesday February 24 2016

An aerial view of Kenya Pipeline company in industrial area in Nairobi on February 3, 2009. The company will clean River Thange in Kibwezi East Constituency where one of its punctured pipes spilled oil into the environment. PHOTO | FREDRICK ONYANGO |

An aerial view of Kenya Pipeline company in industrial area in Nairobi on February 3, 2009. PHOTO | FREDRICK ONYANGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Kenya Pipeline Company has distanced itself from the oil spill affecting water wells in Maili Nne area in Eldoret saying the affected areas are ‘too far’ from its facilities.

KPC Acting Managing Director Joe Sang said a multi government agency team is currently investigating the spillage to unearth the real source of the product.

“The affected wells are located in Maili Nne area along the Eldoret-Kitale highway which is about 2.5 kilometers from KPC Eldoret depot. It should be noted that the KPC pipeline does not pass through this area. KPC would therefore like to point out that preliminary findings show there is no chance that the said product could have originated from a KPC pipeline,” Mr Sang’ said in a statement.

The findings however imply that further investigations on the latest spill may put KPC on the spot since the current findings are still preliminary.

Eldoret residents last week found a few wells in the area with water heavily contaminated with oil suspected to have originated from KPC pipeline or the nearby petrol stations.

Kenya pipeline however said they were addressing the disaster together with other government agencies.

“KPC is already collaborating with NEMA and other relevant government agencies with a view of getting a sustainable solution to the matter. As a safety measure, the residents have been advised to close the wells and avoid collecting water until NEMA and other government agencies give the wells a clean bill of health,” said KPC in a statement.


The looming disaster in the area currently hard hit with water shortage is now compounded from the possibility of a fire disaster as some of the wells are reportedly highly concentrated with petrol.

In May a pipeline ruptured, spilling oil into the Thange River, and a key water source for residents of Makueni County.

The spillage saw residents of Kibwezi East sue KPC and Nema, seeking compensation for the oil spill that they claim affected their their crops and killed livestock.

The villagers accused the two government agencies of laxity and negligence after several calls for intervention failed to bear fruits.

Results on the studies undertaken on the extent and impact of the oil spill were later withheld for more than six months further sparking an outrage.

KPC commissioned the scientific tests, supplied the residents with fresh water and relief food in response to their pleas.

The firm also agreed to foot the bill for a traditional cleansing of the river by providing a goat, a bull and 50-kilogrammes of sugar to make a popular traditional brew to appease the gods.

The residents would later blame KPC in court for doing little in response by only giving the three items to ‘appease the gods.’

Oil spill is an administrative hot potatoe at KPC and is believed to have caused the replacement of Ms Flora Okoth at the helm of the firm. She had allegedly not responded well to the Makueni spill.