‘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

 

CBD says goodbye to old trees

1 week ago - 05 May 2021 | Environment

Windhoek • [email protected] capital’s central business district will hopefully turn over a new leaf with the planting of saplings in the Zoo Park.About two months...

Another demo against oil production

2 weeks ago - 26 April 2021 | Environment

Windhoek • Steffi BalzarThe organisation Fridays for Future demonstrated in the capital on Friday against the planned oil production by the Canadian company ReconAfrica in...

Moet geliefs nie gryswater in jou tuin gebruik nie

3 weeks ago - 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

1 month - 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!

2 months ago - 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

2 months ago - 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

2 months ago - 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

2 months ago - 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

2 months ago - 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...

Latest News

New owners for iconic Safari...

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Tourism

Funds advised by Kasada Capital Management today announced the acquisition of the 414-key Safari Hotels and Conference Centre in Windhoek. This transaction will be made...

Chill with Windhoek Express

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Recurring events• 07:00 Bio-Markt / Green Market at the Stephanus Church (Dr Kenneth Kaunda Street) in Windhoek until 12:00.• 08:30 The weekly Inspire Market features...

Government in catch 22 on...

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Local News

While acknowledging that the majority of Namibians rely on the national broadcaster for information, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila conceded that government cannot meet its employees’...

Murorua takes over BAN reigns

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Banking

The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) announced that Nedbank chief executive Martha Murorua has taken over the reigns as chair from Ester Kali, CEO of...

Bowling on a roll

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Sports

Namibia Bowling Association (NBA) president Michael Wells has expressed his pleasure at the improved performance of players at the recently held Namibia National Bowling Championships.The...

Virtual international training for local...

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Sports

Eight Namibian soccer coaches will take part in an international instructor’s course organised by the German Football Federation and Botswana Football Association to help improve...

Old Mutual under ‘10 strongest...

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Business

The 2021 Brand Finance report has ranked Old Mutual in the top 10 strongest brands, as well as in the top 100 most valuable insurance...

Fire safety measures every homeowner...

2 days ago - 11 May 2021 | Disasters

The recent blaze that unfolded along the Cape’s iconic Table Mountain was a reminder of the very real threat fire poses to homeowners. It is...

Conservancy feeds their own children

2 days ago - 11 May 2021 | Society

For a second consecutive year, members of the N≠a Jaqna Conservancy are using part of their income to provide food to all registered schools and...

Load More