Four trucks ferrying crude oil have finally left Ngamia 8 after 50 days disruption of the early oil pilot scheme that had been commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 3.
The successful resumptions followed intensive talks between elected leaders, national government and Tullow Oil Company with last four meetings being led by Cabinet Secretary for Petroleum and Mining John Munyes held in Turkana South and East sub-counties on Wednesday.
The trucks left Lokichar Thursday morning. Munyes led area MPs and other leaders in four meetings in the oil production areas where the government committed itself to look into the issues of local content, communication channels and benefits to the community.
“We have agreed that oil trucking resumes on Thursday 23 after a series of four meetings where we engaged the community. The community had raised issues and reservations but we have addressed them,” he said.
The CS said disputes arising from the oil sector would be addressed through the Turkana grievances and management committee which brings on board key stakeholders and community representatives.
Turkana South Member of Parliament James Lomenen said the community would want not to be left behind as the country benefits from oil proceeds once exportation begins.
“What we don’t want is a situation where the local community is left suffering and in poverty after oil trucking kicks off. We want a situation where communities from where oil is discovered benefit economically,” said the outspoken legislator.
Munyes had earlier held meetings with locals at Nakukulas Lokichar and Kalemngork.
They agreed oil would leave on Thursday as more issues are being addressed by the grievances committee.
Tullow Oil Company and Ministry of Petroleum were tasked to ensure there is adequate civic education on issues of oil.
Turkana County commissioner Seif Matata thanked the leaders for embracing dialogue and urged them to continue engaging the community in future to resolve any disputes.
“I appeal to the leadership to continue with dialogue whenever there are issues,” said Matata.