Res­i­dents ac­cuse oil firm of ig­nor­ing deal

‘We agreed com­pany would hire 300 and im­ple­ment projects be­fore ex­plo­ration’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @stephenAs­tariko

A com­mu­nity in Wa­jir South sub­county yes­ter­day ac­cused an oil ex­plo­ration firm of fail­ing to hon­our an agree­ment to up­grade the area.

“We agreed the com­pany would hire 300 staff from the lo­cal com­mu­nity, set up its camp­site on the out­skirts of Wa­jir town and im­ple­ment nine projects be­fore the ac­tual ex­plo­ration be­gan,” Mukhtar Sheikh Nur said.

He is the chair­per­son of the oil and gas ex­plo­ration com­mit­tee of Wa­jir South sub­county. The com­pany is Simba En­ergy Ltd. The com­mit­tee was cre­ated on June 15 and reached an agree­ment with Simba En­ergy on June 16.

“The com­mit­tee wanted a din­ing hall put up at Le­he­ley Sec­ondary School, bore­holes dug at Le­he­ley and Boji Yarey, dams at Sukela, Da­gane Walo and Ar­gani,” Mukhtar told the press in Habaswein yes­ter­day.

HOS­TILE COM­MIT­TEE?

But Simba CEO Has­san Has­san said the com­mit­tee is hos­tile. “We have in­vested mil­lions of dol­lars in this project and we can’t al­low that to go to waste,” he said.

Has­san said the com­pany will work with non-hos­tile par­ties. “The com­pany was li­censed by the na­tional gov­ern­ment and this project will have to con­tinue,” he said.

The ex­plo­ration cov­ers two wards – Lag­bo­qol and Ibrahim Ure. Ninety per cent of the project is im­ple­mented in Wa­jir South and the re­main­ing 10 is in Wa­jir West and Wa­jir East sub­coun­ties.

“We are the le­git­i­mate rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Wa­jir South res­i­dents in this process since we were ap­pointed by more than 300 res­i­dents,” he said.

WE HAVE IN­VESTED MIL­LIONS AND WE CAN’T AL­LOW THAT TO GO TO WASTE – CEO

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