Baringo youth threaten to block roads over GDC jobs scandal
16 March 2015, 10:36
Nakuru - Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has been issued with a two-week ultimatum to respond to woes raised by residents and youth of Baringo sub-County regarding job distribution in its planned drilling of geothermal well in Loruk.
GDC, a state corporation mandated with generation of geothermal energy in parts of the Rift Valley, aims at generating over 3 000 megawatts in Baringo County alone.
Under the auspices of Baringo Youth Forum, attention has been drawn to what they termed as consistent sidelining of the youth and residents on employment at the GDC.
By all standards, GDC which is projected to yield an estimated 5 000 MW from Baringo to the national grid, continent’s biggest single source of clean energy, according to Sam Ruto, have hitherto failed to gain any realistic benefits from the company.
The Mining Act which regulates the energy sector stipulates that five percent benefits be remitted back to the local community.
“For now, we are aware that full exploration is yet to be done, hence we demand that area residents be accorded the few employment opportunities slots especially in operation within Baringo County,” said Ruto.
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They claim that the few youth who have been hired by the GDC continue operating as casuals for more than two years against the six month period provided for by the International Labour Laws (ILO).
Among the demands they are bringing to attention include the need to constitute at least two members from Baringo to the board of GDC, to look and safeguard the interest of the County.
They are also demanding that the company explain to the community their mode of engagement in community land, which they claim is communal or under the County government as a trustee.
According to Robert Kangogo, a resident, failure by the company to respond to their demands will lead to a major demonstration that will see access roads to all sides in Baringo blocked until their issues are addressed.
Baringo Governor, Benjamin Cheboi has as well been accused of failing to intervene on the matter.
Efforts to obtain comments from GDC’s relevant authorized staff on the issue turned futile as phone calls went unanswered.
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