The Contribution of Oil Exploration on Human Security in Lokichar Division, Turkana County, Kenya
Zephaniah, Lagat Kiptoo
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After decades of exploration, commercially viable quantities of oil were hit in Kenya’s Turkana County in 2012. This made Kenya join the regional and international list of countries with commercially viable oil reserves. This research aimed at discerning the influence of oil exploration on human security in Lokichar Divisi on of Turkana County. The study set out to examine how human security in Lokichar Division is affected by displacement of populations, environmental degradation, socio-cultural and infrastructural development as a result of oil exploration. The research used a descriptive design by administering both structured and open ended questionnaires to 181 respondents and conducted 3 focus group discussions to a total of 51 individuals who live and/or work in Lokichar area. The sample was arrived at through simple random sampling to select questionnaire respondents and purposeful sampling to pick key FGD respondents. The data collected was analysed and presented through descriptive statistics. Tables and frequencies were used in interpreting the feedback from respondents. The accuracy, reliability and completeness of the data collected for the purpose of the study w as determined using a pilot study and expert opinion. Data analysis and interpretation was conducted using the SPSS software version 20.0. To analyse the data into information that can be used to make conclusions and recommendations, the researcher used descriptive statistics for measures of central tendency for groups of subjects. This was done after authority was granted by the administration of the Nazarene University and the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI). The research found that population displacement exercises in Lokichar Division were rife according to 84.44% of the resi dents. There was minimum effort by the oil exploration companies to follow up to ensure that livelihoods of affected residents were reconstructed after displacement. Oil exploration also affected the ecosystem in Lokichar Division, thus creating an imbalance that has been a source of conflicts and human insecurity according to majority of residents. Oil exploration ha s also led to the destruction of the local culture and heritage thus making the local communities feel insecure. Infrastructure development has contributed to the expansio n in infrastructure, increased police presence, opening up of areas that were previously difficult to access and has increased access to basic services such as food, health and security. The hypothesis was tested using a multiple regression analysis of the four explanatory variables associated with oil exploration that affect security: forced displacement, environmental degradation, socio cultural influence and infrastructural development. The tests were done at a significance level of 0.05. The findings of the study revealed that R 2 = 0.360 which implied that 36.0% of human security of residents of Lokichar Division was explained by the oil exploration. The regression was significant at p = 0.000. T his implies that the oil exploration activities in Lokichar significantly contributed to the human security situation in the region. It established that environmental degradation and forced displacement in Lokichar significantly influenced the security situation in the region negatively while social cultural changes and infrastructural development had impact on human security but there seemed to be both positive and negative impac ts thus the net effect was less.
Africa Nazarene University