× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Turkana oil should not become a curse

By Mark Oloo | July 15th 2018


Mark Oloo


An oil well at Ngamia 1 in Turkana County. [Courtesy]

Latest reports indicate some disquiet over the exploration of oil from Turkana County, despite the deal struck between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Governor Josphat Nanok.

Already, trucks carrying crude oil from Turkana to Coast have faced hostility from locals, demanding a direct share of the natural resources. Apparently, elected and former leaders from the county, had painted a very rosy picture of the exploration of oil in the region.

During last year’s campaigns, some leaders promised the residents heaven, telling them that they would get new bank accounts where oil money would be deposited for each one of them to enjoy. How can this happen in this day and age?

However, due to high levels of poverty, ignorance and lack of proper explanation on how the oil resource would be exploited, many residents took the skewed information for gospel truth. Today, several months later, the residents are agitated, frustrated and ready disrupt the extraction of oil. It is unfortunate that no proper consultation and explanation was conducted on the Turkana residents.

Kenya now risks sliding into the so-called ‘oil curse’ that has befallen countries such as Nigeria that have not significantly changed their fortunes despite having the resource. Such conflicts over resources begin with small demonstrations and incidences of violence, only to explode into full blown war.

In the end, many lives are lost, bloodshed and livelihoods damaged as the resources benefit outsiders. This is a path Kenya should avoid and constantly seek to make the oil resource a golden opportunity. It is not magic and it can be done if all players become sober and look at the long term benefit to all Kenyans and the residents of Turkana County, in particular. 


Share this story
Lessons you can learn from the World Cup
Today, the whole world will literally come to a standstill to watch the World Cup final between France and Croatia.
Diabetes: Insulin now an essential drug
Listing NCDs is a relief to Kenyans like 65-year-old Kahuho Mathai from Nyeri County, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.