The Environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) process in Kenya is a legal requirement dictated by the requirements of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA), 1999. To this end most projects are required to undertake an ESIA Study that is reviewed by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and once approved an EIA licence is issued.

Tullow recognises that both the ESIA and the Site-Specific assessment (SSA) process are key planning tools for environmental and social management for Tullow Kenya operations. But due to the lack of project specific data for a licensed Block it is practically impossible for Tullow Kenya to carry out a detailed/comprehensive ESIA within the stipulated time.

Tullow Kenya uses the SSA in all Exploration and Appraisal activities including 2D seismic, 3D seismic, drilling and associated infrastructure, camps, roads, water boreholes and infrastructure upgrades. In carrying out the SSA the Tullow appointed environmental consultant completes a project affected persons (PAP) inventory; a compensation forecast; identifies appropriate types of compensation; identifies the type of biodiversity and the significance of that biodiversity; known archaeology and cultural property; areas and features of elevated risk (spatial and temporal); and prepares GIS maps identifying the significant baseline findings.

The results from the SSA study are a baseline report that includes a fit-for-purpose Environmental and Social Management and Monitoring Plan (ESMMP) to compliment the block-wide ESIA ESMMP. A GIS database is also created that includes all features such as the built environment, assets, crops, land-user and land-owner details, bird breeding locations, designated sites, known archaeology and cultural property, to name a few.

The SSA, though not a legal requirement, is an internal Tullow risk management and assessment process designed to support project planning and supplement the statutory ESIA process garnering important data that was invariably missed in the block-wide ESIA.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.