BORDERS TURKANA

Tullow told to drill for water, fix roads

If British oil exploration firm wants business, it must help both communities, say Pokots

In Summary

• Many women have miscarried due to walking long distances in search of water

• Improving amenities will enhance security in the region

Women trek long distances for water, many miscarry
DANGEROUS TREK: Women trek long distances for water, many miscarry
Image: MARRYANN CHAI

Residents of Turkwel belt want the Tullow Oil company to drill water wells for them and revamp the road network to improve security. 

The Pokot community said Turkana, where the British exploration firm is drilling for oil, has the same problems as they do.

They want Tullow Oil to extend its corporate social responsibility to their area for the firm to operate smoothly. 

Kiwawa MCA Josiah Lopetakwang said better roads will also enhance trade among the two communities that have had a long-running conflict. 

"The communities in the region where the company is drilling oil have decided to live in peace. We need to engage the youths who have agreed to abandon outdated cultural practices ," he said.

Lopetakwang said leaders need to engage youths to look for alternative means of earning an income instead of cattle rustling and depending solely on livestock.

 

"The majority of young people want to engage in livestock trade with neighbouring communities, but they are hindered by lack of roads," he said.

He said the Ombolion-Apuke and Narimwon-Kasei roads need to be upgraded.

Lopetakwang said elders from the warring communities are ready to preach peace.

However, they are unable to make a big impact because they cannot reach all the youths who are still engaging in cattle rustling owing to poor roads.

"Elders are unable to get to the manyattas because there are no roads. We need peace for the region to develop," the MCA said.

Lopetakwang also asked Tullow Oil to help in drilling boreholes since residents lack safe drinking water. He said many women have had miscarriages because they walk long distances in search of water.

"The joy of any mother is to hold her baby. I'm asking the company to help us get water to reduce the miscarriages. Save them the burden of the long trek," he said.

Lopetakwang said waterborne diseases have become rampant because of lack of clean water. The situation is dire in Kongai, Ombolion, Kamnono and Apuke, he said.  

Edited by Pamela Wanambisi