Kenyan will secure 10,000 jobs in the second phase of oil production that will commence soon, Cabinet Secretary for Petroleum and Mining (CS), John Munyes has said.
Speaking in Lodwar on Tuesday, Munyes said Kenyans will also reap from many business opportunities that will be created by the oil industry.
“We will have a lot of money that will turn around the economy of not only Turkana county but the entire country,” said Munyes.
The CS was responding to calls from local leaders to have them benefit from the oil resource which was discovered in the county.
The Maendeleo ya Wanawake Lodwar chapter Chairperson, Jennifer Tioko has appealed to the CS to ensure that the local youth, women and persons with disability benefit from jobs and tenders in the oil companies.
In June, 2018 under the early oil pilot scheme that was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tullow Oil Company started transporting 600 barrels of oil from Lokichar to Mombasa. This is expected to increase to 2,000 barrels by end of April.
Munyes also refuted claims that the oil pipeline would take away a huge chunk of the community land saying only a small portion would be needed for the pipeline.
“Allegations that the pipeline would take away 100km of land are misinformed,” he said.
The Turkana County Commissioner (CC), Muthama Wambua challenged the community to start of thinking of how best to benefit from the resource through investment opportunities.
“We should ensure that the oil production starts as soon as possible so that as a county we can benefit from this rich resource,” Wambua said.
The CC also dismissed claims that the oil trucks were being accorded heavy security at the expense of the locals and their property.
“We are committed to protecting the property and lives of every citizen and therefore claims that we are favouring the oil company are unfounded and untrue,” he said.
Wambua at the same time, blamed the Pokot and Turkana communities for the cattle rustling that have claimed lives in the past.
He cited an incident where bandits who had stolen 15 donkeys in Turkana east last week decided to shoot them down after they were cornered by security officers.
By Peter Gitonga