Mbangu welcomes ReconAfrica oil find

23 April 2021 | Energy

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU

Despite environmental concerns over the oil and gas exploration activities being undertaken by ReconAfrica at Kawe village in the Kavango East Region, the recent announcement of an early discovery of a working conventional petroleum system has been welcomed as a sign of good fortune for the poor region.

Last week, ReconAfrica and the mines ministry announced that preliminary analysis of the data from the 6-2 well, the first of a three-well drilling programme, provides clear evidence of a working conventional petroleum system in the Kavango Basin.

The first drill site is at Kawe village in the Rundu Rural Constituency.

Rundu Rural constituency councillor Paulus Mbangu, when contacted for comment, said the possibility of oil and gas reserves was great news for the country as oil is one of the commodities that have a great impact on the economy of some countries.

“In a nutshell, it will help the economy of the country and that of the region as well as provide employment to the locals given the fact that our region is one of the poorest, the discovery is a welcomed move,” Mbangu said.

“It’s a positive news, very positive. The problem here is that there are a lot of agendas involved. The issue of saying that the environment will be destroyed is a bit exaggerated because during my last engagement with the CEO of ReconAfrica he assured me that no fracking was going to take place.

Transparency

When contacted for comment, political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah called for a transparent process, saying that all stakeholders should be well informed about the exploration process.

Kamwanyah stressed that seeing that most of the people in that area are poor, there should be proper measures in place to ensure that the environment is protected as their livelihoods depend on it.

“What I can say is that there has to be transparency in a sense that information must be provided to the communities in terms of what the impacts and benefits of the drilling. There has to be that transparency process so that the country, the region and communities are well informed about the whole process and about what the negative impacts to the river and their health is concerned,” Kamwanyah said.

He further stressed that the views of the locals should be considered at all times, seeing that they have lived there for many years and it would not be in their interest if decisions were made on their behalf.

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