Greetings and it is my hope that this email finds you well,
On or around of 8th March 2014, (Not sure of the exact date), Tullow Oil were reportedly engaging in a life-threatening activity in Ekales 1 that led to the production of a huge smoke that engulfed the areas around Ekales 1 for the whole day with the release of toxic noxious fumes to the surrounding. The same huge smoke was also seen in Ngamia 1 some time back and there is an urgent need to interrogate whether or not Tullow Oil have put any measures in place to mitigate the concomitant negative effects that will be the result of the smoke being recklessly let into the atmosphere. As a community, we cannot allow human rights violations and environmental degradation initiatives of unspeakable magnitude like the ones witnessed in Ekales 1 and Ngamia 1 on the part of Tullow Oil to take place in our midst and irredeemably affect the lives of the innocent and the illiterate pastoral community while we keep mum. Environmental Conservation is the mother of all livelihoods and a clean environment is the prerequisite of development and healthy lives. In a world characterized by climate change and environmental degradation by, among others, multinational corporations and private investors; there is need to remind everybody that the community has a right to a cleaner environment and that these rights are non-negotiable and heavily guarded under article 42 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
As a community that has been marginalized for the last 50 years, there is an urgent need to remind Tullow Oil and all its associate companies that Kenya has ratified a considerable number of international conventions and treaties on Environmental Conservation and that human beings and private investors of any description operating in any part of Kenya must and should abide by the provisions of any municipal and international law on environment. We expect Tullow Oil to carry out environmental conservation initiatives and lead the fight towards a greener planet and this cannot be achieved by engaging in acts that are a health hazard and contrary to the basic tenets of responsible practice.
Many questions still remain unanswered on why a high-profile self confessed responsible oil giant in the name of Tullow Oil would engage in such horrendous acts in blatant disregard of both the Kenyan and international law and worse of all, without informing the local leaders. An oil company that has no policies or doesn’t abide by its policies on environment is the worst thing that can come on the way of a pastoralist or any other citizen of the world residing in any corner of the planet.
The lives of over 5,000 poor and illiterate Turkana Kenyans are in the balance and that is why we demand for a satisfactory explanation on what happened in Ekales 1 and whether we should be prepared for more of such smokes in the near future as a community.
I hope you will provide the necessary explanation as requested.
Thanks a lot.
Attached is the photo of the billowing smoke in Ekales 1 as obtained from our sources in Ekales 1 and without any alteration whatsoever.