Kenya: Tullow seeks close ties with Turkanas

tullow 111 December 2013, Nairobi – JUST a few days after Tullow Oil was forced to suspend operations in Turkana after locals stormed some fields demanding for employment, the British company is now looking for specialists to help it forge a closer link with the locals.

Tullow, which has since resumed operations after signing a return-to-work memorandum of understanding with local leaders last month, has advertised for six positions of community communications coordinators.

These officers will serve as a focal point between the community and Tullow and will be required to provide an interface between Tullow and the community. Under the MoU, Tullow was supposed to have opened field information and liaison offices in Lokichar and Lodwar by December 31.

According to the job advert, two of the community coordinators will be based at Lokori, two at Lodwar and two at Lokichar. The officers will also be in charge of managing the day to day operations of the local community resource office. They will also facilitate access to relevant information, responding to and document questions and issues raised by the community.

The company is also looking for a supplier development advisor who will among others assist new local suppliers achieve Tullow’s performance standards. During the demonstrations, locals demanded that they be given opportunities to supply good and services to the company and this post aims to address this issue. The supplier advisor will also contribute to contract review board meetings which determine which suppliers are given what contracts.

According to the MOU, the company was required to immediately start village to village road shows, radio shows and community bulletins to intensify community education. This will be done in partnership with the ministry of energy. The job ad said the supplier advisor will be required to initiate contract awareness events and activities.

Under the MoU, Tullow was to immediately increase the corporate social responsibility allocations from the current Sh85 million ($1 million) to Sh170 million ($2 million) per year.

Energy and Petroleum cabinet secretary Davis ChirChir said the MOU will guide future interactions between the company and locals and help prevent nasty confrontations like the one last month.

Tullow said it now better understands the complex operating environment in Northern Kenya and expressed hope that the MOU will ensure operations can continue without disruption in the future.

“As Tullow’s exploration campaign progresses and gathers pace, the number of local employees and local companies involved in our work will continue to grow,” the company said.

– The Star

About the Author