ReconAfrica stands its ground
14 October 2021 | Local News
Despite the Namibian non-governmental organisation Frack Free Namibia (FFN) calling on the environment ministry to revoke ReconAfrica’s environmental clearance certificate (ECC), the latter maintains it has not violated any regulations.
The Canadian-based company is exploring oil and gas potential in the Kavango regions of Namibia, and in Botswana.
According to FFN, the company is in clear violation of a 2D seismic ECC issued in July 2020 and it should be revoked before more irreparable damage is caused to Kavango residents, community conservancies, forests and natural resources.
The anti-fracking group said the company’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental management plan (EMP) state that no new cutlines may be made and all survey lines must follow existing roads, tracks or paths or already disturbed areas that require minimum vegetation clearing.
It said ReconAfrica’s seismic surveying uses a large truck to repeatedly thump extremely heavy weights on the ground.
“The thumping creates the energy necessary to record sound waves, which are then processed into subsurface images for oil and gas exploration.”
According to FFN, residents have reported that the thumping has already caused cracks and permanent structural damage to homes.
ReconAfrica spokesperson Ndapewoshali Shapwanale rejected the allegations, saying that the seismic operation is being implemented within the legal context of the ECC conditions.
She added that as most of the sandy access pathways are heavily infested by bushes, certain seismic lines require “minimum diversion” to mitigate for buffer zones around immediate structures while other lines may be extended, within the provisions of the EMP and ECC, to allow for high resolution in data acquisition.
She stressed that the company consulted extensively with communities, traditional authorities, local, regional and national governments.