Turkana oil transport drives hundreds of jobseekers to Mombasa refinery

Tuesday June 12 2018

Mombasa residents wait outside Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited (KPRL) in Changamwe for employment after the arrival of the crude oil from Lokichar in Turkana for storage, June 12, 2018. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG

Mombasa residents wait outside Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited (KPRL) in Changamwe for employment after the arrival of the crude oil from Lokichar in Turkana for storage, June 12, 2018. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG 

By WINNIE ATIENO
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Hundreds of jobseekers have been pitching camp at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited (KPRL) depot in Mombasa following the start of transportation of oil from Turkana.

Women, men and the elderly have been braving the morning cold outside the largest company in Mombasa West to seek employment.

The jobseekers are from Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa, and have urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to give them jobs.

Some of the youths who have pitched camp at the KPRL used to work at the company as casual labourers but were rendered jobless since the refinery was decommissioned five years ago.

“I have been here at this refinery ever since the crude oil arrived hoping we will be employed but we have not been offered any opportunities. I am trained in safety measures,” Michael Abuka, said.

KPRL came back to life when Kenya’s first crude oil from Turkana arrived at the facility last week.

Mombasa West hosts industries and giant parastatals including the Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Railways Corporation, Moi International Airport and Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen).

Accessibility

The ongoing and completed major road constructions including Dongo Kundu and airport road have made the area more accessible.

Last Friday, Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) board chairman John Ngumi said the company has invested Sh1.8 billion in improving facilities and that they are looking forward to greater partnerships with KPRL in ensuring proper handling and storage of the oil.

Kenya’s ambition to become one of the global oil producers was boosted on June 3 after the flagging off of transportation of the first oil barrels in a pilot scheme.

In a historic occasion held at Ngamia 8 oil fields in Lokichar, Turkana East, President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off four trucks ferrying crude oil to the refinery in Mombasa.

The crude oil is being ferried in an experimental programme dubbed Early Oil Pilot Scheme.

Viable markets

The crude oil will be kept in Mombasa as the country looks for viable markets.

Each truck carried 156 barrels. Tullow Oil company targets producing at least 2,000 barrels per day.

It already has 70,000 barrels stored in tanks in Lokichar.