Kenya is experiencing robust exploration and exploitation of its largely untapped natural resource wealth. Significant discoveries have occurred in the last decade of commercially viable oil, coal, and titanium deposits in Turkana, Kitui and Kwale counties, respectively. Already, minerals from Kwale are being exported for sale and the Government has indicated that petroleum and coal from Kenya will be in use and/or for sale by 2017-2018.
The backdrop to this study is that citizens have a right to know what is being done with their natural resources, from the decision to extract to the granting of concessions; the impact on lives, livelihoods and land rights; the environmental and social impact assessments, the management and sharing of resource revenues, among others.
Research shows that information that is timely, disaggregated and relevant to various actors can result in positive impacts. It enables citizens to understand the industry and its socio-economic impacts, helps to demystify myths about job creation, promotes objective discussions among stakeholders and empowers citizens to engage with the project processes and decisions. An informed and engaged public will also help balance power asymmetries where local actors are excluded from national-level decisions that impact their daily lives.
- 14th Feb 2017
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