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Study Reveals Environmental and Socio-Economic Risks of Lokichar - Lamu Crude Oil Pipeline
A risk assessment study of the proposed Lokichar – Lamu Crude oil pipeline in Kenya has revealed environmental and socio-economic risks according to a study by World Wide Fund for Nature – Kenya (WWF-Kenya), the Kenya Oil and Gas Working group, CSO partners and stakeholders.
According to the report, the oil pipeline which cuts through six counties and covers 892 kilometres – from the Lokichar oil fields in northern Kenya to Lamu seaport may generate national economic gains but will come with significant environmental and socio-economic risks if not managed well.
The report outlined and elaborated 11 recommendations to guide the various stages of implementation of the project. The report makes recommendations that include; ensuring that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment follows a transparent and inclusive process based on international best practice as well as the implementation of the Environmental and Social Management Plan to address impacts from the pipeline. It also needs to follow existing Strategic Environmental Assessments and development plans for the Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPPSET) Corridor.
The government should also develop local content and capacity through the implementation of a complaints and grievance mechanism and creation of a conflict management unit. Community safety and health should be prioritised, through the establishment and strict enforcement of an oil spill contingency mechanism. In essence, respect of Land tenure and human rights should be put on the forefront at all times.
Other recommendations include; relocation of Above Ground Infrastructure, compiling of baseline data and creation of a monitoring programme along the Lokichar - Lamu Crude Oil Pipeline and LAPPSET corridor.
As shown by this study, there is a lack of up to date and granular data on people and environment. Lastly, the government needs to implement treaties or conventions ratified by Kenya to safeguard biodiversity and sustain socio-economic activities of people along the pipeline route.
Download the Report below