Communities in the oil-rich region of Turkana, northern Kenya are demanding a bigger cut of revenue from oil extracted from its area from the government, according to a report filed by Reuters.
The communities feels ‘robbed’ by the government’s revised provisional Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production Bill, which stipulates that 80% of oil revenue is to be allocated to central government, 15% to local government and 5% to host communities.
Kenya’s parliament passed the original provisional bill in 2016. The terms of the bill: local government is entitled to 20 percent of any state oil revenue,10 percent is for communities living oil reserves are located, 70 percent is for the central government in Nairobi. The country’s President, Uhuru Kenyata, has not ratified it.
In the meantime, the communities are banking their hopes on legislators from opposition parties and ‘rebels’ from the ruling party to fight for their cause in parliament.
Reuters quoted a Jubilee Party member, James Lomenen, member of parliament for Turkana South, willing to break ranks with his peers. “Now that they have suffered for so long, the revenue from oil must actually feed them, treat them and take their children to school,” he said.
According to Reuters, the impasse over revenue sharing has delayed the scheduled production timelines.
Turkana is one of the poorest regions in Kenya with low literacy levels. The majority of poor in the area lack access to clean water and electricity.