National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) contracted RPS to conduct an ESIA for a 2D seismic survey in Block 14T, which lies in the Magadi area of Kajiado County, Kenya. The purpose of this study was to assess the environmental and social impact of the project and submit the outcome of the assessment to the National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA) of Kenya to permit the proposed activities.
This project presented our teams with a number of complex environmental and social challenges. The project site, Block 14T, lies within the Great Rift Valley, with the specific project area lying within the Magadi Basin (an area composed of basins, escarpments and lakebeds). Although no national parks or reserves overlapped the survey area there were a number of protected / sensitive sites nearby:
In addition, there was a degree of tribal conflict within the survey area between different Maasai tribes relating to settlement rights.
Due to these heightened environmental and social sensitivities of the area, a comprehensive field visit was planned. The survey team consisted of multiple international and local subject specialists (including representatives from RPS and the NOCK).
RPS staff visited local communities in the project area, presented the project and recorded any concerns. The team conducted stakeholder meetings with each of the Maasai tribes within the survey area and interviews were also conducted with local authority representatives and community leaders. The stakeholder meetings were also informative by design as the nature of the proposed survey was unfamiliar to the Maasai.
To ensure good practice and impartiality, all analysis of water and soil samples collected during the field survey were conducted by independent and accredited laboratories.