Oil: Government to roll out environmental assessment

By Ronald Owili

16 oil wells have been dug since 2012 (File)

The government has concluded negotiations with the World Bank to finance the Kenya petroleum technical assistance project at a cost of 4.3 billion shillings.

Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge says the government is now awaiting the World Bank board decision next month on the project.

Kenya is eagerly waiting the day she will start oil production and join the league of the oil and gas producing nations.

Though the country is heavily endowed with gas and oil deposits it is emerging that it is not well equipped to deal with environmental challenges that comes with petroleum production.

Some of the oil producing countries have experienced catastrophic environmental pollution and it is this that the government is trying to avoid.

Njoroge says the government in conjunction with the World Bank will soon roll out the strategic environmental and social assessment under the Kenya Petroleum Technical Assistance project at a tune of 50 million USD or 4.3 billion shillings to help in capacity building.

Since 2012, 16 wells have been dug with 11 of these having promising results.

However, NEMA director general Geoffrey Wahungu says the Authority would monitor environmental management plans on a quarterly basis to avoid economic and environmental damages.