Analysis of the impact of oil and gas exploration in Lamu
Exploration of oil and gas in Lamu County Kenya continues with initial steps complete as BGP plans second phase of exploration by end of this year on Pate Island with mainland base set up at Mtanga Wanda. The potential viability of marked oil and gas reserve fields on Pate Island has been received well by the host community. This study has analyzed the impact of oil and gas exploration in Lamu County. The study critically looked at the general impacts of oil and gas exploration on, the role of host community during the exploration and finally examined efforts by stakeholders in protecting the environment. This study used resource curse theory to show why Kenya oil and gas sector could fail to enjoy the benefits of producing oil and gas if both national and county governments fail to give good leadership, enhance participation by locals and provide transparency and accountability in the management of the sector. The study used mixed method research approach where both qualitative and quantitative data was analyzed to give a clear understanding of the impact of oil and gas exploration in Lamu County. Interview guides were used to collect data from over 300 respondents and the data was subjected to statistical and thematic analysis. The study found out that positive social, cultural and economic impacts have been minimal, secondly the role of host community is not clear and there are no plans to actively involve locals in the exploration exercise and lastly there have been little effort by stakeholders in protecting the environment and the environmental impact assessment carried out is too general, there is need to have a specific assessment targeting oil and gas to properly mitigate environmental damages. The government and oil and gas corporations need to come up with a plan to involve host communities, the government needs to strengthen NEMA personnel and equipment’s.
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