International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research
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Environmental and Social challenges of oil and gas exploration in Kenya

Volume 17, Issue 1, August 2015, Pages 164–174

 Environmental and Social challenges of oil and gas exploration in Kenya

Isaiah K. Okuthe

Original language: English

Received 28 March 2015

Copyright © 2015 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The discovery of oil reserves in the Turkana Rift basin, could possibly multiply government revenue. These findings signify a major possible change in the country's position considering the fact that it is one of the low incomes, aid dependent countries in the Sub Saharan region. However, the commercial exploitation of this resource also presents the country with formidable environmental and social challenges due to weak institutions, lack of public participation, poor communication, unskilled labor in the oil industry, absence of crucial policies, poor organizational structures and governance system, indicators that continue to affect all activities leading to unsustainable actions at both the national and community levels. This could give birth to more disastrous results like civil strife, sabotage of oil dealing and the resource curse phenomenon. The paper focuses on aspects of long term sustainable actions which require engagement of all actors, dissemination of information among others driven by all the four sustainability domains (political, economic, ecological and cultural pillars) to prevent potential negative impacts on the country's socio-economic development. This involves comprehensive environmental and social baseline and impact assessment studies, best practice in environment management for effective impact reduction and mitigation, effective environment monitoring, intensive coordination with County government and socialization to local communities to obtain legal and public approval, acceptance, and support for the operation from the very beginning phase of the operations of planning until after the completion of the operations.

Author Keywords: Oil exploration, Social and environmental challenges, Kenya.

How to Cite this Article

Isaiah K. Okuthe, “Environmental and Social challenges of oil and gas exploration in Kenya,” International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 164–174, August 2015.