|A police vehicle escorts trucks loaded with crude oil from Ngamia 8 oil fields in Turkana County on June 3, 2018. The oil is being taken to a storage facilities at the coastal city of Mombasa in readiness for export.|
President Uhuru Kenyatta led a host of local leaders to celebrate the feat that enabled the country to join Uganda as the only two oil-producing nations in East Africa.
In a historic occasion held at Ngamia 8 oil fields in Lokichar, Turkana County in the north, the President flagged off four trucks ferrying crude oil to the Kenya Petroleum Refinery in Mombasa.
The crude oil is being ferried in an experimental programme Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS).
The resource will be kept in Mombasa as the country looks for viable markets.
Each truck carried 156 barrels. Tullow Oil company targets producing at least 2,000 barrels per day.
There are at least 10 oil fields located in various sections in Turkana East and Turkana South.
Aware of the protracted disagreement on how the proceeds should be distributed, President Kenyatta warned of the curses that might come with the resource, but also promised that all concerns raised by local residents will be attended to.
"The economies of countries that have failed to manage their resources have also suffered the ripple effect of a hungry and poor citizen. It is my hope and prayer that together we shall work so that such is not visited upon us," he said.
Without mentioning names, Mr Kenyatta said two countries have experienced the painful side of the mineral, saying the country would do everything possible to avoid similar situations.