Trucking of oil yet to resume as residents disown MoU

Thursday August 2 2018

Oil exploration

Police escort trucks loaded with crude oil from Ngamia 8 oil fields in Turkana County on June 3, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Turkana residents have decried the "tough conditions" contained in a memorandum of understanding drafted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining.

The situation has worsened the standoff over mining of oil in the area and further dented hopes of resumption of its trucking from Turkana to Mombasa.

This was revealed as Turkana leaders said they had not been consulted in the drafting of the MoU and would oppose it, putting in jeopardy plans for urgent resumption of oil operations and transportation to the coastal city.

The MoU was expected to provide a solution to the month-long stalemate but leaders and residents yesterday said they were not satisfied with some of the provisos contained in a draft document that was being prepared for signing by various parties. In the document, the leaders were tasked with looking for peaceful solutions to emerging issues.


“It is the understanding of the Parties that in resolving the present suspension of operations and the avoidance of future work stoppages or suspension of operations, parties will be guided by the following principles: resolution of grievances in a peaceful, expedited, cost effective and project optimal manner,” said the proposed memorandum.

The parties to the pact will also be expected to commit to an assessment of the impact occasioned by the recent suspension and previous stoppage of operations on the cost of the oil project and its future schedules.

It says that the signatories would be expected to work together to ensure oil operations continue unabated and that a structure be formed for the channelling of grievances without future interruptions.


“The Turkana county government, the Members of Parliament and Turkana County Assembly will work together with the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to ensure deployment of adequate security agents across the county to guarantee security for the people of Turkana and their property and ensure smooth oil operations,” the draft says.

The document proposes creation of a Turkana Grievance Management Committee that will consist of representatives from the national and county governments, the oil company and the host community. It would address issues in a “respectable and non-confrontational manner.”