‘Fracking in the Okavango is insanity!’

Namibian resistance dismissed by ReconAfrica

08 February 2021 | Environment

Windhoek • Frank Steffen

“It is 2021. A time of climate and biodiversity crises. Fracking in the Okavango is insanity!”
This according to the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, Mary Lawlor, about the gas and oil exploration project in the Kavango region.
National and international criticism is increasing, but neither the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) nor the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Land Reform (MAWLR) have commented on the issue, while the Ministry of Mining and Energy (MME) only expressed itself through its regional representatives, due to a conflict of interest revealed by the participation of this ministry in what appears to be a dubious project in an ecologically sensitive environment and that promises political repercussions.
Now the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that is committed to the preservation of the earth's biological diversity, the sustainable use of natural resources and the curbing of environmental pollution and harmful consumer behaviour, has levelled an appeal to the Namibian and Botswana government.

Done deal
In the meantime, ReconAfrica and its supporters have joined the online fray, with a certain “Taurus” writing on the Yahoo! Finance website: “Y’all ... this public hearing is a non-issue. We've had those meetings where I live in regards to drilling and some of those meetings had thousands of people in attendance. In some of those meetings, I was THE GUY on stage giving the presentation and taking / answering questions / bullets from the audience. The drilling and seismic all moved forward. Seriously ... this is a non-issue. The Namibian Government owns 100% of the surface of the leased land that Recon has. The Namibian Government is on as a 10% partner, and the Namibian Government issues the permits.”
Statements like this explain why ReconAfrica was not deterred during a public meeting last week when asked who had given them permission to test drill. Land allocation is generally negotiated through local government.
Contrary to claims by ReconAfrica, drilling is not only limited to three holes in a small area; the entire Kavango region up to the eastern world heritage site of Tsodilo Hills and the adjacent delta in Botswana is affected, so too the Khaudom National Park, where the San live in their traditional habitat.
Moreover, the Kavango-Epukiro groundwater basin extends over the entire Omaheke region and most of the Otjozondjupa region, not to mention the karstveld itself and the super aquifer discovered three years ago in eastern Ovamboland.
The drilling slag is currently being pumped into a water basin that is not fitted with plastic sheeting in accordance with international standards. If the borehole casing is not properly sealed due to the lack of quality controls, salt and brackish water will inevitably get into the groundwater, a Namibia-based geologist says.
In the meantime it became known on Friday that the drill pipe had broken off at a depth of 1,000 meters – that is 700m deeper than ReconAfrica had said it would be drilling at just four days earlier. The machines that are needed to replace the rods, including the drill bit, were still in the port of Walvis Bay.

Similar News

 

Moet geliefs nie gryswater in jou tuin gebruik nie

1 day - 20 April 2021 | Environment

Dink twee keer voordat jy jou tuin natlei met die gryswater afkomstig van jou wasmasjien: Dis nie goed vir die einste grond waarin plante moet...

Youth climate activists urge president to save Okavango Delta

3 weeks ago - 29 March 2021 | Environment

To date, nearly 150 000 people have signed a petition by Rainforest Rescue supporting their mission to save the Okavango Delta.Now, Fridays For Future Windhoek...

Community recycling initiative launched

1 month - 15 March 2021 | Environment

The Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) announced the launch of its very first Community Recycling Project in celebration of Global Recycling Day on 18 March.The project...

Win with water!

1 month - 12 March 2021 | Environment

The Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA) is running a photo contest specifically aimed at youth in Southern Africa in honour of World Water Day...

Shifeta irked by CITES

1 month - 12 March 2021 | Environment

Environment, forestry and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta is disappointed by the “arrogant” modus operandi of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild...

Underwater cultural heritage in the spotlight

1 month - 11 March 2021 | Environment

A regional meeting on the protection of underwater cultural heritage in Africa is currently underway in Windhoek.The two-day virtual meeting, which began on Wednesday, is...

Communities at risk

1 month - 11 March 2021 | Environment

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism is intensifying its efforts to address the current increasing devastating human-wildlife conflict incidents in some parts of the...

Going green this Commonwealth Day

1 month - 09 March 2021 | Environment

Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi said Commonwealth High Commissioners in Namibia are expected to plant trees in remembrance of Commonwealth Day.Katjavivi said this...

Southern hyenas ‘don't overexploit any prey species’

1 month - 08 March 2021 | Environment

Conservation is a priority at the N/a’an ku sê Foundation – not just to provide evidence-based, scientific data but to heighten educational values when working...

Eerste skatting van Namibië se dolfynbevolkings

1 month - 01 March 2021 | Environment

Die Namibiese eilande se mariene bewaringsgebied (bekend as NIMPA), wat 25% van die algehele kuslyn van Namibië beslaan, en een van die grootste mariene bewaringsgebiede...

Latest News

Family’s battle to reunite continues...

13 hours ago | Justice

Windhoek • [email protected] Namibian High Commission in Pretoria on Tuesday briefly shut the door to Namibian Phillip Lühl after he tried to submit a formal...

Campaigning for counselling

15 hours ago | Crime

Members of Parliament (MPs) have proposed compulsory counselling and psychological support for victims, perpetrators or anyone exposed to gender-based violence to end the cycle of...

Whistleblower Stefánsson scoops WIN WIN...

16 hours ago | Justice

This year’s winner of the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award is the Icelandic whistleblower Jóhannes Stefánsson, who led the revelation of a widespread corruption scandal...

Sewing machines, fabric for NCS

19 hours ago | Business

Mulungushi Textiles & Importers recently donated overlock sewing machines and fabrics worth around N$100 000 to the Namibian Correctional Services. The Khomas & Hardap regions...

Is your agent making use...

20 hours ago | Life Style

The way we live and work has been dramatically altered by the pandemic. It follows then that the way people buy and sell houses will...

Multi-million mask deal goes sour

1 day - 20 April 2021 | Crime

Windhoek • [email protected] Chinese owned tobacco company are suing to reclaim more than N$6 million they say was lost when a deal to buy 440...

Seeing the future

1 day - 20 April 2021 | Social Issues

Tanja Wilckens of Pro-Specs and Marlize Hall of African Eyes Optometrist donated their time to performing eye-screenings on 53 learners of N/a’an ku sê Primary...

Learners master German

1 day - 20 April 2021 | Education

The German ambassador to Namibia Herbert Beck, Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS) Principal Kristin Eichholz and teachers involved in teaching German as a foreign language,...

Moet geliefs nie gryswater in...

1 day - 20 April 2021 | Environment

Dink twee keer voordat jy jou tuin natlei met die gryswater afkomstig van jou wasmasjien: Dis nie goed vir die einste grond waarin plante moet...

Load More