Demonstration against oil drilling in Kavango

07 December 2020 | Environment

Windhoek • Steffi Balzar

The activist group Frack Free Namibia and the Fridays for the Future Windhoek (FFFWhk) forum organised a peaceful protest in Windhoek on Friday.
The group walked from the parking lot on the corner of Sam Nujoma and Nelson Mandela Avenue in Klein Windhoek to the UN building, where they handed over a petition, demanding the immediate cessation of the planned oil wells of the Canadian company ReconAfrica in the Kavango region.
According to Veruschka Dumeni of FFFWhk, there should be no drilling, especially not in a sensitive area like the Okavango Delta, which is the livelihood of over 200 000 people in various countries. “We know that the UN is committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so we turn to them with a request for support,” Dumeni said.
In her address to a representative of the UN House, she pointed out that the drilling jeopardised compliance with at least three SDGs, which were: Goal 7 (clean energy), Goal 11 (sustainable society) and Goal 13 (climate protection).
Namibia, like Botswana and Canada, also signed the Paris Agreement and thereby committed itself to climate protection. “Namibia also receives money from the UN's Green Climate Fund to take action against the consequences of climate change,” the activist said.
“Who should we believe when it comes to the interests of our country? A company that is trying to clear its name by building wells in the affected areas?” she wanted to know. “Municipalities have not asked for it and are guaranteed not to be part of the profits generated by the wells.”
On the contrary, the undertaking will endanger the groundwater and thus food security of the communities, according to Dumeni.
Our sister publication Republikein had tried to engage the management of ReconAfrica in Namibia, but to no avail.