Residents of Turkana, Kenya say they expect to see at least a third of oil revenues injected into development projects of the county. But government has different ideas.
Oil was discovered in 2012 in Turkana in 2012, the Kenya’s second largest county geographically but the area has been long neglected by successive governments.
The current Parliament passed a draft bill in 2016 allocating 10% of any state oil revenue to the local communities where it was discovered, 20% to local government and 70% for the central government in Nairobi. But President Uhuru Kenyatta never signed the bill.
A revised version due to be debated in parliament this month leaves local communities with only 5%.
Turkana MP, James Lomenen from the ruling Jubillee Party plans to draft an amendment to the bill on Oil Exploration, Development and Production.
“The money allocated to Turkana’s population will not solve their problems. The 30% allocated to them is not enough. That’s 20% for the county and 10% for the local community for us to fight poverty. Who can’t see that we don’t have enough water? We don’t have enough food, we don’t have enough hospitals yet. Our children don’t have schools yet. People are still sleeping on empty stomachs, “ Lomenen told a rally of supporters.
The legislation must be passed before large-scale oil production can begin.
The local communities consider these new provisions to be another slap in the face of Turkana, a barren land, where most of the inhabitants live in villages without electricity and running water.
The revenue sharing dispute has hampered the tight schedule of oil companies.