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Kenya told not put all hopes on oil

By Abigael Sum | November 5th 2013

By Abigael Sum

Kenya: Kenya has been advised to ensure that oil production in Turkana does not undermine ongoing efforts to produce renewable energy.

Achim Steiner, United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) Executive Director, wants Kenya to take advantage of opportunities and revenues brought about by the discovery of oil

“If a country finds oil and there is market, then they should go ahead and sell it. Kenya should use the revenue generated from the sale of oil and petroleum products to accelerate renewable energy initiatives because, unlike oil, it is cheaper, never runs out and protects the environment,” said Steiner.

He was speaking at a press conference during the just concluded Global South-South Expo at the UN offices in Gigiri.

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Joseph Njoroge assured that oil production in northern Kenya will not threaten the advancement made in renewable energy consumption.

“The discovery of hydrocarbon will not jeopardise the green initiatives being undertaken. However, it will be in our advantage to diversify our sources of energy because it will reduce dependence on firewood which is one of the major causes of deforestation,” said Njoroge.

He added that to avoid over reliance on petroleum products, there is need to manage oil exploration in a sustainable manner.

Minimising emissions

The PS noted that new Energy and Petroleum Act expected to be in place in six months will provide guidelines on ways of minimising emissions and pollution from production.

He urged the youth to take advantage of the 30 per cent procurement opportunities provided for women, youth and disabled persons to invest and partner with Tullow or other petroleum companies and take full advantage of opportunities that arise in the energy sector.

Ghanaian minister for energy and petroleum Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah urged South-South countries to unite and not rush into signing agreements and partnerships.

“How oil revenue is managed is critical. There should be laws and guidelines that ensure that revenue goes back to the local people and add value through creation of jobs and capacity building as well as skills so that there is hope for the future,” he said.

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