International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Review Papers | Social Science | Kenya | Volume 6 Issue 11, November 2017

The Turkana Oil Discovery in Kenya: An Unfolding Environmental, Socio-Economic and Political Disaster

Beatrice Mariam Oside Barasa

Abstract: A disaster is an occurrence disrupting the normal conditions of existence and causing a level of suffering that exceeds the capacity of adjustment of the affected community. For a disaster to occur there must be a combination of hazard, vulnerability and insufficient capacity or measures to reduce the potential chances of risk. Such vulnerabilities include amongst others, inadequate access to resources and lack of awareness. In this context, Kenya struck its first crude oil of commercial viability at Ngamia1, South Lokichar basin in Turkana County in 2012. Tullow Oil, the British exploration firm in charge of the project projected that the country could begin to export crude oil by end of 2016. To date (2017), this has not been realized due to the unfolding environmental, social, economic and political dynamics which threaten to attain magnitude of disasters. An understanding of the processes involved in the oil find makes the prevailing challenges better understood. Here, the three phases of oil harnessing comprise exploration, exploitation and discovery. Exploration is the action of searching an area for natural resources, such as oil or any other mineral. It entails extensive prospecting, seismic activities and drilling processes. Successful exploration results into discovery. If the estimated quantity of the crude is of economic value, exploitation ensues. In the case of the Turkana oil, estimated recoverable deposits in Lokichar basin alone is one billion barrels and exploitation commenced in 2012. The exploration in other blocks is still ongoing. It is envisaged that this should translate into economic prosperity for the Turkana people. However, there are indications that this may not be so. This is because all the three aforementioned phases have resulted in varied adversarial impacts on the communities in the catchment. This paper reviews the emerging disaster risks hazards in the context of environmental, socio-economic and political impacts that threaten to spiral into disaster magnitudes. Consequently, it recommends a collection of practical initiatives, by multidisciplinary actors, that should be put in place to mitigate the risks hazards therein. s Oil Discovery, Environmental, Socio-Economic and Political Disaster

Keywords: Oil Discovery, Environmental, Socio-Economic and Political Disaster

Edition: Volume 6 Issue 11, November 2017,

Pages: 2235 - 2241

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