Success requires consultation
||Assessment of alternatives
"Oil Exploration in Kenya: success requires consultation - Assessment of community perceptions of oil exploration in Turkana County, Kenya". Published by Cordaid, 2015.
The research – designed and conducted together with a coalition of local,
Turkana-based civil society organizations – was targeted at identifying
and documenting the concerns, fears and hopes of “the smaller voices”, as
stated by one respondent in reference to villagers and pastoralists, whose views
are not often heard in the policy debates regarding oil development in Kenya.
The report contains challenging language; there are perceptions and findings
that remain to be tested. It looks forward to helping local communities and
civil society in Turkana and other resource-rich parts of Kenya to test these
challenges, together with government and companies themselves. Working
together, to identify common goals and engage in an open and respectful
manner, not only will help Kenya improve the sharing of benefits of its oil,
gas and mining resources, but is also important for preventing any further
escalation of tensions and conflict.
Experience shows that without access to information and meaningful
consultation, most local communities confronted with oil, gas and mining will
eventually resist projects that have an impact on them. When negative impacts
are not adequately redressed and benefits are unevenly distributed, trust is
further undermined and the risk of communal and community–company
The risk of tensions escalating into larger-scale violence is
real in Turkana. Government at both national and county level holds the key
to turn around the perceived lack of security and uneven benefit-sharing felt
by local communities. This cannot be achieved overnight or by heavy-handed
(costly) security operations, but instead requires a more serious commitment to
meaningful consultation and negotiation with affected communities.
In Cordaid views, the exploitation of oil (and mineral) resources can bring significant
social and economic benefits to the citizens of Kenya, especially Turkana.
Apart from the required institutional and legal reforms for a transparent
and accountable revenue management system, the recent drop in oil prices
and the related lull in exploration activities has created a unique window
of opportunity for companies, government and civil society to invest more
seriously, and inexpensively, in community engagement.