Eni's sustainability projects in Kenya
In detail:
  • baseline studies on the social and health context
  • health: purchase and supply of medical equipment and water wells in the coastal area
  • access to water: water wells in the northern coastal area of the country
  • education and access to energy: Light in Dadaab, the energy of dialogue
  • investing in a generation: project update
  • The importance of security in a seminar on human rights

Access to water

The oil and gas industry in the country is still in its infancy, but it is already helping to fill some of the gaps by means of direct social intervention on the ground. Eni Kenya is playing its part. As part of its business strategy and in line with statutory obligations towards the region and its communities, Eni Kenya B.V., with the assistance of the Departments of Local Community and Health in Milan, carried out a baseline study along the coastline of northern Kenya and nearby regions (specifically targeting the counties of Tana River, Kilifi and Lamu). These areas of Kenya have historically been marginalised – affected by high morbidity and mortality rates, as well as acute shortage of access to clean water, particularly in island communities. The Lamu County, one of six coastal counties in Kenya, was identified as the one with most pressing needs. The little water available there comes from traditional means of rainwater collection and shallow water pits. It is often contaminated and not fit for consumption, resulting in high incidence of typhoid, Escherichia coli and other waterborne diseases. The findings of the study were shared with all stakeholders and a programme targeting health and access to clean water was designed and agreed with the County Government of Lamu through a memorandum of understanding on 10 November 2014. Following the completion of the first comprehensive hydrogeological study of Pate Island – which showed that none of the 200 “wells” in the subject area provided fresh water, meaning that only brackish if not downright salty water is available to the population – two deep water wells (200 mt bgl) were drilled, one in Siyu village and a second in Pate. Although yield from the first was encouraging, laboratory analysis of the water showed that the aquifer was unfit for human consumption and would therefore require filtration. The same was then found to be the case for the Pate village well. Thanks to the programme’s modular, flexible nature, Eni Kenya was able to reallocate funds to pay for a desalination plant. Once again, in-house expertise helped in the design of a fully-sustainable, solar-powered reverse-osmosis unit capable of producing around 20,000 litres per day. The direct beneficiaries of the project are members of the Siyu community – an estimated 2,000 people. In periods of drought, however, the plant may help more than 6,500 per day. Such an approach will be the first of its kind in the region and is being looked at with great interest by both local communities and county government because it is expected to set a benchmark not only for corporate social responsibility initiatives, but also for the whole development of marginalised areas. To achieve this, not only have Kenyan companies been selected to deliver the contract but community consultation has been carried out and education and training will be put in place to ensure that life of the plant is a long one.


Baseline studies on the social and health context (2014)
Eni conducted a social, health baseline study in three counties: Lamu, Kilifi and Tana The stakeholders consulted included the following actors: NGOs, Community Based Organization, Business Professionals, Relevant Government Authorities Agencies for Development Engagements with the communities were made up of these elements:
  • key informant interviews
  • focus groups discussions
  • field observations

Results collated from the baseline study and a proposed intervention strategy were shared with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. The Lamu County was identified as the focus county based on:
  • high morbidity and mortality rates
  • county with one of the highest household mean size in the country
  • Pate, Siyu, Faza, Kizingitini, Rasini villages are extremely remote
  • limited access to medical facilities

Access to better health care: purchase and provision of medical equipment
Eni Kenya has concluded the purchase of medical equipment for laboratory use and for the operating room of Witu’s hospital, a village located within the county of Lamu. After the long procurement procedure, the contracts were awarded to three Kenyan suppliers and the delivery of the goods was completed in August 2016. Kenyan Vice President, William Ruto, conducted the commissioning of the operating room in Witu’s hospital in August 2016.


Supplying sustainable energy and education
The refugee camp of Dadaab in Kenya, the largest in the world, was created in 1991 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to host Somalis fleeing from the civil war and hosts about 350,000 people. Following the involvement of Eni’s CEO, Claudio Descalzi, in an event organized by the Vodafone Foundation with the students of the camp, Eni committed to carry out various activities to support the needs of the young students, in particular improving access to and the quality of education through the provision of sustainable energy (such as solar power) to educational facilities currently without an electricity supply and technological educational devices.

Thanks to the project, since December 2016, two schools in Dadaab, the Friends Primary School in the Ifo camp and Bidii Primary School in the Hagadera camp, have access to energy. Each school has 16 solar panels, each equipped with 14 batteries capable of supplying continuous electricity for eight hours per day; more than 4,300 students have thus benefited. Initially the project was meant to cover eight schools in total, benefitting 2,000-2,500 children and teenagers. Now, with only two institutes upgraded, we have already doubled the desired impact. In the first months of 2017, 9 other schools were equipped with similar systems. More than 7,200 students are involved in the programme, as well as parents, teachers and members of the community who use the facilities for extra-curricular activities. Computers were delivered as well as the power supply. In total the Dadaab project has seen more than 40kW of solar power installed at 11 primary schools, where students are taught how to read and write – reaching about 10,000 people. Each school enjoys 8 continuous hours of electricity per day, backed by a maintenance contract that will keep the systems operating effectively for the next 10 years. Alongside system installation, basic courses were offered to students and teachers on solar energy, its use and its importance as well as maintenance and cleaning – completing what we hope will become a virtuous circle in such a remote area.

The initiative is consistent with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum's programme to bring energy to all the country’s schools as well as with the county's education programme, the eastern regions’ plan for development and the progressive repatriation of refugees and the UNHCR programme (Integrated action plan for sustainable return and reintegration of Somali refugees).

Professional Training: investing in a generation, project update
On 16 November 2016, Eni Kenya signed a MOU with the County Governor of Garissa for the installation of photovoltaic solar systems in selected schools in the Garissa County. The project objectives include the provision of ICT equipment and end user training in key institutions and electrification improvements such as perimeter security lighting.

Human Rights
On February 25, 2015, in collaboration with the Danish Institute and the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Eni Kenya held a seminar on human rights, raising awareness on the topic of human rights in the Oil & Gas industry among local stakeholders and contractors selected by Eni Kenya, with a particular focus on security.

Read also

Eni’s activities in Kenya

Eni operates in Kenya with upstream activities, with offshore operations in the waters of the Lamu Basin.
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