KENYA – Oil firm has no permission to start work, says official

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mining cabinet secretary Najib Balala. The county government did not give consent to a company to start oil and gas exploration, says its Environment executive. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mining cabinet secretary Najib Balala. The county government did not give consent to a company to start oil and gas exploration, says its Environment executive. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary

  • Mr Mwachitu said that during a meeting at the governor’s office in Kilifi Town two months ago, it was agreed that further talks be held on environmental impact.
  • Mr Mwachitu urged residents not to rush into conclusions but dig for the truth before going public with their views.
  • Deputy Speaker Teddy Mwambire told the public to resist attempts by the company to survey their farms.

By SAMUEL KAZUNGU

The county government did not give consent to a company to start oil and gas exploration, says its Environment executive.

Camac Energy is doing a seismic survey without clearance, Mr Kiringi Mwachitu told the Nation by phone.

He said that it was unfortunate that the firm decided to start working even after a meeting with the governor and environment stakeholders agreed to stop until further consultations.

Mr Mwachitu said that during a meeting at the governor’s office in Kilifi Town two months ago, it was agreed that further talks be held on environmental impact.

His statement might bring to an end widespread speculations that the county government had given the nod to the company despite protests from NGOs and environmentalists.

“We are clean on this. In fact, the governor is not happy about the conduct of the company. We had agreed that no work takes place until the issues raised are addressed.

“We are surprised to hear that the company is doing a survey. The truth is that the county government is in the dark. We cannot allow a company to go ahead with a project, which might affect our people.”

He said even when consultations were going on, the firm had been given an exploration licence by the National Government.

Mr Mwachitu urged residents not to rush into conclusions but dig for the truth before going public with their views.

Environment committee chairman Daniel Chai asked the Executive to stand its ground.

The Jilore Ward representative said that his committee would not relent until the company stops its activities to pave the way for dialogue.

“A company cannot come to our county and degrade the environment. We shall not allow this to happen,” Mr Chai said.

Deputy Speaker Teddy Mwambire told the public to resist attempts by the company to survey their farms.

“The county government did not sanction explorations. Issues must be ironed out before that project can proceed,” he said.

SOURCE: http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/Oil-firm-has-no-permission-to-start-work/-/1107872/2571544/-/54ljg0z/-/index.html