The construction of the Gibe 3 Dam in Ethiopia is one of the biggest threats to Lake Turkana and its ecosystem and one that FoLT has strongly opposed.
The efforts by FoLT’s campaign to highlight the concerns of the destruction to ecosystem, livelihoods and exacerbation of conflict, led to the withdrawal of financing from the African Development Bank, World Bank and European Investment bank. It also led the banks to review their safeguards, with the ADB also starting a process of putting in place an Indigenous peoples policy.
As a campaign pressure group, FoLT was able to strengthen communities’ engagement with issues of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in relation to International Financial Institutions (IFI’s) financing of development projects as well as other safeguards both domestic and international. Through engagement with legislatures from Marsabit, Turkana, Samburu, Pastoralists Parliamentary Group and others in relevant committees, we were able to bring up two motions in the National Assembly that led to the bilateral discussions between Kenya and Ethiopia, supported by UNEP on issues relating to the Omo -Turkana basin
Since it started working in the region actively in 2010, FoLT has enabled communities raise their concerns on inclusivity in natural resource investments through fora that provided platforms for oil companies to engage with community members as well as legislators to engage with their constituents; promoted skills transfer to the youth as well as monitored and meaningful employment by the oil companies; addressed the communities’ environmental concerns through petitions to the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the oil companies Policy Officers to address gaps in the EIA/ESIA’s; informed the legislative processes on inclusivity of community voices, and opening spaces for debate while working with county government on how to maximize the micro-socio economic changes brought by the oil and minerals in Turkana.
We have promoted representation of community voices at various platforms and developed widespread understanding of the impact of global and national decisions on local communities.
From our partnerships with think tanks, academia and policy analysts among others we continue to inform communities, county governments, national legislators and undertake advocacy based on evidence based information.
We are currently engaging in ensuring community interests (physical, economic, social and ecological) are taken into account and community is informed of the process of oil development as Tullow is set to make its final investment decision (FID) later in the year that will set the ball rolling on oil operations.