Turkana County teams up with Nigeria’s Niger Delta to discuss Oil & Gas

nigertoturkanaTurkana County is raising the stakes in negotiating equity for its people as grassroots organisation Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT) teams up award winning Nigerian environmental activist Nnimmo Bassey to tackle some key issues in Kenya’s fledgling oil sector.

One of the pertinent questions that have emerged since the discovery of oil in Turkana, is whether Kenya can and will avoid the failures of other resource rich countries like Nigeria where the oil host communities in the Niger Delta still live in abject poverty.

The oil producing giant of Africa has experienced disparate growth between positive economic indices and low human capital development not to mention the magnitude of environmental degradation from oil production.Friends of Lake Turkana have recognized and aim to achieve, is the need for an in-depth understanding of what Kenya can learn from countries like Nigeria, with over 50 years of oil production experience.

Nnimmo Bassey’s visit to Turkana County, is aimed at stimulating new ways of thinking and analysing the dynamics of oil exploration in Kenya. From the 26th-30th of August 2016, Bassey will chair forums on democracy, governance, transparency and accountability in the Oil & Gas industry with a diverse group of stakeholders in Turkana.

His visit will give an opportunity to the people of Turkana to gain firsthand knowledge from the Niger Delta experience and hopefully, inform current developments in Kenya’s Oil & Gas sector.

Bassey, who is also a critically acclaimed author, poet and architect, is currently the head of Nigeria’s Environmental Rights Action and Chair of the Friends of the Earth International. His seminal book, To Cook a Continent (2012) tackles destructive fossil fuel industries and climate change in Africa. In 2009, TIME magazine listed him as one of their Heroes of the Environment. The following year, he won the Right Livelihood Award also known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize.’ Some of his poetry collections include: We Thought It Was Oil But It Was Blood (2012) and I Will Not dance To Your Beat (2011).

Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT), is committed to fostering socio-economic and environmental justice in the Lake Turkana Basin, Kenya and Ethiopia. Our objective is to achieve this through consistent advocacy for the protection and conservation of Lake Turkana and its environs as well as increased participation of communities in environmental protection, policy formation, sustainable management and use of natural resources.

Please contact us on info@friendsoflaketurkana.org for more details.