Youths in Turkana County have been equipped with technical skills in plumbing, welding, automobiles’ repair, masonry and electrical works to enable them start their own enterprises and create employment.
A total of 45 trainees have received start up tool kits to start their craft and earn a living after they completed courses sponsored by Tullow oil and KCB Foundation.
A total of 120 trainees were enrolled in the programme that aims to build the capacity of host community to secure income generating activities in the oil and gas industry as well as in other sectors.
Chief Officer for Education, Sports and Social Protection John Tukei was at the handing over ceremony for startup kits worth Sh6.7 million for students who had completed technical training courses at Lodwar vocational training centre. Each beneficiary received tool kit worth at least Sh150, 000.
Tukei said the county government would continue to support training of youth at TVETs in the eight institutions in the county and one at the Kakuma Refugee camp.
“The training is a self-reliant programme that will enable the trainees to begin their lives after training,” he said.
Tullow officer in charge of social performance Bethwell Sang was also present during the handing over of tool kits at Lodwar Vocation training centre.
Sang said the company funded the programme which was complemented with expertise from KCB Foundation.
“Our focus is on developing local capacity for the host community within our areas of influence so that they can tap into the opportunities that come along with the oil exploitation,” said Sang.
The company is transitioning from exploration and appraisal and to development that would involve construction work.
A pipeline from Lodwar to Lamu will require labour as well the development of a central processing facility, drilling of more wells and a water pipeline from Turkwel dam to the central processing facility in Turkana.
Tullow Oil entered into a local partnership with KCB Foundation on Tujiajiri programme, sponsored students to undertake technical training and sponsorships on technical training in plumbing, masonry and on a longer term, these skills would be required.
Sang said capacity development would enable the host community to benefit from oil exploration.
The county government’s role includes employing the staff at the TVETs, coordinating support from the partners and also ensuring the institutions receive support from the national government. In addition, the county government offers bursary support to the students.
KCB Foundation senior manager in charge of partnerships and subsidiaries Teddy Oracha said the programme aimed at ensuring the youth are equipped with tool kits and ensure they are employable.
“We hope the youth will create their own enterprises and employ other youths and create a ripple effect in the community,” said Oracha.
KCB Lodwar branch manager Chrisitne Lane was among those present during the handing over ceremony.
by Peter Gitonga