- Governor Lomorukai called for seamless engagements amongst stakeholders to avoid conflicts.
- He urged the partners to align programmes with development priorities in his manifesto, notably water sufficiency.
Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has called for more Turkana oil exploration and more community projects, especially water supply.
Tullow Oil Social Performance Adviser Bethwel Sang assured the governor it will expand investment in water, education and health sectors.
The governor on Saturday called for improved community involvement from Tullow Oil and its joint venture partners as the firm plans to roll out commercial oil production.
He called for seamless engagements to avoid conflict.
He spoke during a meeting with a delegation from the Kenya Joint Venture partners led by associate general counsel and external affairs manager Franklin Juma who paid a courtesy call on the governor.
"We need continuous friendly engagement with all stakeholders. This time, we have to get it right by fostering a conducive environment to engage on all matters including land,” Lomorukai said.
“We must ensure improved community participation in oil operations and ensure local content, which is a right for the community, is guaranteed," he said.
"We have to engage with the intention to improve lives,” the Governor said.
He expressed thanks for past projects by Tullow that benefited the community but emphasised that more was needed as Tullow still faced many challenges.
The county leader assured the partners that while he will aggressively defend community rights, he was also keen to build friendly relations between the county and all partners.
He urged the partners to align programmes with development priorities spelt his manifesto, notably investment in water sufficiency.
The meeting was intended for partners to get acquainted with the new county administration. Lomorurkai promised more meetings in the future, notably a Turkana leaders' summit.
The delegation briefed the Governor on the Kenya JV Partners effort to identify a strategic partner to enable implementation of their development plan. It includes an oil pipeline from Lokichar to Lamu.
JV's Juma told the government the investment plan will cost $3.4 billion (Sh517,71 billion). It will include a bigger processing facility, additional wells and infrastructure to draw water from Turkwel dam.
He agreed on the need for regular engagements with all stakeholders, including the national and county governments, a Turkana leadership summit and local community to strengthen relationships.
Tullow Oil Social Performance Adviser Bethwel Sang assured the governor of the its support to expand investment in water, education and health sectors.
He cited projects and programmes the company had invested in, including subcounty hospitals in Lokichar, Lokori and Kanamkemer.
Other projects include 30 boreholes, construction of schools, issuance of bursaries and scholarships and partnership with KCB Foundation on secondary school sponsorship.
“We will work closely with communities to identify priority areas the company will invest in. We will build capacity for the community to take advantage of emerging opportunities from oil development,” he said.
(Edited by V. Graham)