Turkana residents block oil trucks over rising insecurity

Wednesday June 27 2018

Oil trucks heading back to Lokichar after they were blocked by residents at Kalemngorok in Turkana County on June 27, 2018. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Turkana County residents on Wednesday stopped five trucks from ferrying crude oil to Mombasa over rising insecurity along the border with Baringo.

The trucks that were accompanied by armoured police vehicles were stopped at Kalemngorock Centre along the Lokichar-Kapenguria road by hundreds of residents who allowed other vehicles to pass.


A local resident, Philip Lodio, said that President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a shoot-to-kill order on bandits terrorising residents of Turkana and Pokot communities to ensure that no one is armed with illegal firearms.

Mr Lodio claims that just a few hours after the order at Ngamia 8 earlier this month, three police reservists were shot dead and livestock stolen by bandits at Lokori Ward where the first four oil trucks were flagged off.

"Since then we have been experiencing several bandit attacks with the latest being in Kamuge village. Our people at Kapedo along the border of Baringo and Turkana counties rely on security to get access to shops at Marigat town or Lokori town or even to fetch firewood," he said.


He added that since the oil discovery Turkana residents, especially those in Turkana South and Turkana East Sub Counties, have been protecting oil ever since.

“There is no way we can be a security threat to the oil we have protected and guarded for years. So the specialised and additional security personnel (protecting oil) should head to Kapedo and secure our people,” he added.

Other residents demanded that they should be employed as road marshals to ensure that livestock does not interfere with the smooth passage of oil.

Meanwhile, members of the Lokichar business community who camped at Africa Camp Solution since Tuesday night asked Tullow Oil and the government to ensure that local firms are prioritised to do business.

Led by Mr Samuel Lomodo, the business community claimed that they have been denied tenders to supply fuel to run operations.

Mr Lomodo said that they also want locals in the region get their share of jobs as drivers.


At the same time, the residents also demanded that the State should come clear on the five per cent revenue share to the local community which they want channelled to their bank accounts rather than for development as rallied by a section of leaders.

Turkana legislators have previously said that security must first be intensified before more oil leaves the devolved unit.

At least 100 trucks of oil have ferried crude from Turkana since the first four were flagged off by Mr Kenyatta in a historic event held at the Ngamia 8 oil fields in Lokichar as part of the Early Oil Pilot Scheme.