NAU urges Ombudsman to investigate uranium exploration

02 December 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU) recently paid a courtesy visit to the new Ombudsman, Basilius Dyakugha, to update his office on the union’s vision and focus areas.

During the meeting several issues were discussed, including the uranium exploration and drilling in the Stampriet Artesian Basin.

According to the NAU, it strives to seek collaborative solutions for the complex challenges the country faces and focuses on capacity building including leadership, life skills development and farm worker development.

It also focuses on creating synergy between all stakeholders in the agricultural sector, realising profitability of primary agricultural production and sustainably utilising resources, including rangelands and water.

The NAU says specific issues that were emphasised and discussed during the meeting were that the Agricultural Employers’ Association (AEA) offered support to the office of the Ombudsman in special labour-related issues.

Another point of discussion was the lack of service delivery by public institutions poses massive challenges for the agricultural sector to operate effectively.

“Certain authorities in government, who have the responsibility to control the implementation of regulations, seem to not be capacitated sufficiently for effective service delivery.”

Furthermore, the union says that the protection of Namibia’s environment is another critical mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Water pollution

“The drilling of hundreds (if not thousands) of boreholes for uranium exploration in the Stampriet Water Controlled Area is a major concern. The risk of in-situ leaching of radioactive uranium into the aquifer and the potential pollution of drinking water of thousands of Namibians, is immeasurable.”

The NAU says the Ombudsman was urged to urgently investigate this serious issue for the sake of the survival of future generations.

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