This study explored the security implications of oil exploration on the social activities in South Lokichar Basin, Turkana County, Kenya. It was motivated by the disagreements between the county government and national government on the exploration, extraction, production and sharing of oil benefits. Oil discovery and revenues fuel ethnic and political tension in any country, result in war and political instability. Nigeria’s Biafran war was due to oil discovery between July 6, 1967 and January 15, 1970. Such tensions are due to unfulfilled expectations of the host communities, corruption, environmental degradation, socio-economic disruptions and exploitation. In a region of extant and prevalent insecurity over scarce resources, there is the likelihood of violent disagreements over ownership and utilization of a newly discovered resource. Using Yamane’s formula, a sample of 382 respondents was drawn; 8,493 were adults from Turkana County. Whereas most studies relating to oil discovery in Kenya have centred on the economic implications; this study filled the gap from the security perspective. Oil exploration had security implications on social activities as confirmed by 70% of the respondents. 65% also confirmed it, while 60% confirmed that oil exploration led to increased insecurity. 65% of the respondents felt that the security measures were insufficient to deal with security threats as a result of oil exploration while 60% of the respondents did not feel entitled to the benefits of oil exploration and production. The study concluded that oil exploration had both positive and negative security implications on socio-economic activities in South Lokichar Basin, Turkana County, Kenya.
Key words: Security, implications, oil exploration, social activities, indigenous communities, community participation.
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