‘Kavango not ecologically sensitive’ - Sindila Mwiya

ReconAfrica’s project advisor accused of being disrespectful

29 January 2021 | Environment

Windhoek • Frank Steffen

In what appears to be a typical case of the pot calling the kettle black, the local advisor to the oil exploration company Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica), Dr Sindila Mwiya, responded in a most disrespectful and rude manner to questions addressed to him by the chairman of the Kavango East and West Regional Conservancy & Community Forestry Association, Max Muyemburuko, accusing the latter of being a lackey of overseas experts and stakeholders as well as sarcastically criticizing the environmentalist of “behaving as if you are the spokesperson for the Office of the Environmental Commissioner or MEFT”.
“Leaner (sic) to respect your own people first and their great wisdom in local knowledge…” Mwiya advised Muyemburuku on Tuesday, whom he portrays as an opportunist who is attempting to solicit additional donations from abroad while abusing the Okavango project for his purposes.
In sometimes poor English he arrives at the conclusion that the Kavango region is not ecologically sensitive: “... the non-existence [of a] so-called sensitive environment ...”
While Mwiya, as consultant of ReconAfrica, in his mail repeatedly accuses Muyemburuku of acting in the interests of foreigners, Mwiya himself seems to have forgotten that this accusation would apply to him too in principle.
Mwiya has repeatedly acknowledged his role as ReconAfrica's project advisor, namely as director of the consultant firm Risk-Based Solutions cc (RBS), which promotes itself as technical specialist in oil, gas, mineral and energy exploration. In that capacity, he had previously carried out an environmental impact study for the exploration license and applied for a permit. Currently he is responsible for the application of an environmental impact certificate for the purpose of oil production (by foreigners) at a later stage.

Legality questioned
All environmental impact studies should legally be carried out by "independent" specialists or consultants. In the case of Mwiya, there seems to be a conflict of interest, as he did not seek the opinions of opponents and advocates without bias, as he has already expressed his opinion that the Kavango area is not an ecologically sensitive area.
In his letter, he repeatedly addresses the poverty of the population, who he says are entitled to make money through this investment. However, he does not provide any details and therefore the numbers and expected income remain unknown.
Instead, he reacts insultingly to the concerns expressed by Muyemburuku about protected and unique game as well as the already battered forests, saying “It is really sad to see this so low level of ignorant environmental advocacy that you are displaying 9sic)”.
While Muyemburuku was concerned about possible deforestation, Mwiya downplayed and ignored that context by simply stating that no forests would be cleared to build roads.
Mwiya’s independence and his approach are further questioned, as he makes it impossible for registered stakeholders like Andy Gheorghiu to participate in his lectures and public discussions via electronic media. He thus seems to evade informed questions from specialists by following the principle of “what happens in the Kavango, remains in the Kavango”.
Mwiya is quite clear about this view, in the process having no qualms about dismissing even the interests of the local San population.

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...

20 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

22 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...

23 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

1 day - 21 April 2021 | 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...

1 day - 21 April 2021 | 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