By: JAMES KARIUKI
Tullow Oil and Africa Oil on Wednesday signed a five-year grant agreement with Turkana and Pokot communities that will establish six community-run conservancies.
Tullow Kenya Country Manager Martin Mbogo said the agreement is part of Tullow’s commitment to ensuring that host communities enjoy long-lasting benefits from the oil and gas investment, while ensuring the investment is well secured.
The pact will see Lokichar, Lochakula, Katilu and Kainuk community conservancies in Turkana County and Masol and Pellow in West Pokot County established, where Pokot and Turkana communities will be jointly involved thereby enhancing security in the bandit-prone region.
The two communities were represented by the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), a pro-conservation lobby that will help them establish a management committee, as well as train the newly recruited scouts to monitor movement of wildlife and livestock within the regions.
NRT Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mike Harrison said the partnership could ease cattle raids blamed for multiple deaths as the two communities scramble for pasture and water.
“The establishment and operation of community conservancies to promote peace, manage the rangelands, explore alternative markets for livestock and promote diversification of livelihood activities will help improve lives,” he said.
The signing of the pact follows a series of meetings between Turkana and Pokot elders as well as political leaders who mooted the idea to address runaway banditry blamed for impoverishing residents.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION