M a r k e t N e w s

Kenya: Investors Eye Turkana's Looming Oil Boom

Posted on : Thursday, 6th November 2014


Property developers, local and foreign, are carrying out surveys on investment opportunities in Turkana county with an eye on the boom expected when production of oil begins.
Turkana county government says it has been approached with enquiries on how to go about investing in the region and expects some of the investments to fall through.
"Interest by investors has gone up and we are putting in place a master plan for the county to ensure that we have planned development in all sectors," Governor Josphat Nanok told the Star.
He said Lodwar town, which is the main commercial centre in the region, has attracted new investors over the last one year, including consumer goods retailers and transport providers.
"We have huge opportunities and we will partner with investors to ensure we have the kind of facilities we need to spur economic growth in this region," Nanok said.
However, Turkana Senator John Munyes says insecurity remains the main impediment to development in the country and region, as investors fear the high risk and unpredictability.
"We have massive opportunities and many investors willing to put up property and other investments, but insecurity is really hitting us hard," said Munyes.
The county's leaders said they are willing to partner with the national government in ensuring safety of residents and investors to hasten development.
Lodwar town requires additional housing facilities as its population has been increasing in the last three years, with accommodation remaining a major concern. The town is now estimated to host more than 250,000 people, including foreigners working for international companies and humanitarian organisations in the North-Western Kenya.
Several universities, including Mt Kenya University, have also moved into the town with campuses, further pushing up the town's population.
"With a huge population of students and other residents, we require more than 100,000 housing units currently," said Tom Murpus, a contractor.
Murpus said discovery of oil has increased investor interest in the region and stretched existing facilities and amenities. Bank and other financial institutions are also expected to set up shops in the town soon.

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