Investors in extractive sector advised to hold regular forums

Written By: Carol Njenga

The extractive industry has the potential to change the economic status of resource rich communities if handled properly.

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This is according to a report by Oxfam which advocates for regular community engagement forums to avert social conflicts that may arise due to unmet expectations on employment or revenue sharing.

Oil discoveries in Lokichar in Turkana County have brought Kenya into the global spotlight of emerging oil producers.

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Despite this it is still unclear the impact the discovery of oil in the region will have on the marginalized county as well as the pastoral communities who live there.

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A stable operating environment where community rights are respected is good for business, and local communities affected by projects in the extractive industry play an important role in determining whether this stability will be achieved.

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The research firm says exploration companies will need to find a way to effectively ensure community participation in decision making if they wish to change the tide and guard against future conflicts.

If a company fails to secure the Free Prior Informed Consent from communities, it increases risks related to community opposition such as increased costs from delays or legal disputes and even potential stopping of projects.

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The report comes at a time when Kenya is hoping to transport 2,000 barrels of crude oil daily to Mombasa through trucks, as the country awaits construction of a 200 billion shillings pipeline from Lokichar to the Port of Mombasa.




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