A committee tasked with resolving disputes in the oil sector has been inaugurated in Lodwar, Turkana County.
County Commissioner Seif Matata who is the chairperson of the Turkana Grievances Management Committee presided over the first meeting on Tuesday, which was also attended by the deputy commissioner of petroleum Hudson Adambi and other committee members.
Matata said the first meeting was fruitful and expressed optimism that the committee would be able to address all issues relating to the oil sector in the county.
The government gazetted the Turkana Grievances Management Committee and the inter ministerial escalation and support committee last month, after the disruption of early oil pilot scheme which led to stoppage of oil trucking from Lokichar to Mombasa for over 50 days. The government lost Sh400 million during the stalemate.
“We deliberated and saw there is need for the committee to undergo some training to be able to have a better understanding of the oil sector so that the members can discharge their mandate effectively,” said Matata.
On his part, Adambi said the committee would play a great role in gathering and analyzing issues in the oil sector.
“More importantly, the committee will enable the host community understand the importance of the oil industry to the country,” he said.
Among the key mandates of the committee is to review and evaluate concerns and make practical recommendations and proposals in a manner that would enable an enduring, sustainable and enabling environment for petroleum operations within Turkana County.
The committee is also expected to initiate public awareness programmes, activities and interventions to manage the expectations of the host community with regard to ongoing petroleum operations.
It is also mandated to address matters or challenges relating to the impact of adverse community behaviour or conduct on petroleum operations in the county and recommend proposals or resolutions.
The committee will also provide a forum for the building of capacity of the host community to access opportunities within the operations of the contractor and for consultation and addressing of local content issues.
The committee is also tasked with identifying emerging causes of tension or hostilities that may impact county residents and host community members with respect to petroleum operations.
Some of the members of the committee are the County Commissioner, representatives from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, youth, women, faith based organisations and Members of Parliament among others.