'To hell with phosphate'

Resistance against a proposed marine phosphate mine was heard in the High Court and in the streets of Windhoek yesterday.

11 September 2019 | Environment

As the controversial marine phosphate mining saga yesterday headed back to the Windhoek High Court, anti-phosphate protestors took to the capital's streets to make their voices heard.

The protest was led by the National Union of Workers (NUNW). First, a petition was handed over to the Office of the Prime Minister, before the marchers headed to the High Court.

The court case involves three organisations representing the Namibian fishing industry – the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations, the Namibian Hake Association and the Midwater Trawling Association of Namibia – and also the company Omualu Fishing.

They are asking the court to declare a mining licence issued to Namibian Marine Phosphate (NMP) in July 2011 as expired or lapsed because the company failed to undertake an environmental impact assessment and apply for an environmental clearance certificate within the time limits stipulated in the law.

The matter was however postponed to October for further discovery and will then only be heard in 2020.

NMP's plan to start a marine phosphate mining project in Namibian waters has drawn fierce opposition from environmentalists and the Namibian fishing industry, who fear that mining activities could cause serious and long-term harm to the country's marine resources and endanger fishing activities.

“To hell with phosphate mining,” said NUNW secretary-general Job Muniaro as he read the petition in the Parliament Gardens.

“It is now evident to many patriotic Namibians that there are fellow Namibians who, no matter what, are hell bent to satisfy their love for money at the expense of sustainable management of renewable resources.”

He said the proponents of marine phosphate have been hard at work to manoeuvre and blackmail Namibian leaders.

“Today we converge here united more than before to defend our country against forces that are twisted to bring this country to a standstill through economic sabotage,” he said.

Muniaro said the attempt must be rejected and condemned by all Namibians.

He said the union wanted to ensure that Namibia's leaders take responsible decisions that do not come back to haunt the country in the future.

“We want to send out a strong message that we are not for sale,” he said.

He referred to a similar situation in New Zealand, where an application to mine phosphate from the seabed was rejected.

Muniaro stressed that marine phosphate mining should never be allowed in Namibia as the negative impacts far outweigh the positive impacts.

He said phosphate mining would compromise economic, environmental and social endeavours in Namibia.

More than 1 000 Walvis Bay residents, most of them employees at fish factories, on Monday also demonstrated against marine phosphate mining.

NMP said in a statement issued last week that since 2011 it had fulfilled every reasonable request made for inclusion in the environmental and scientific studies required to be granted an ECC.

“NMP has and will always put consideration of Namibia's marine environment and statutory requirements first,” the company stated.

President Hage Geingob recently promised Omani billionaire Mohammed Al Barwani, who is the majority owner of NMP, that there would be a final decision soon with regard to its Environmental Clearance Certificate.

This followed a letter to Geingob in which Al Barwani had raised his concerns about the delay of the Sandpiper Marine Phosphate Project after its Environmental Clearance Certificate was set aside last year. Al Barwani has an 85% stake in NMP through his company Mawarid Mining LLC, while Namibian middleman Knowledge Katti owns 15% of NMP through his Havana Investment.

The Sandpiper Project is located about 120 km southwest of Walvis Bay.

[email protected]


Similar News


SPYL says no to phosphate

1 day - 18 September 2019 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has called on environment minister Pohamba Shifeta not to allow marine phosphate mining...

Activists slam Nam's 'pay to slay' hunting

6 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Environment

The hunting of Namibia's black rhino is in the international spotlight again, with conservation and animal welfare groups calling for an end to the “pay-to-slay...

'To hell with phosphate'

1 week ago - 11 September 2019 | Environment

As the controversial marine phosphate mining saga yesterday headed back to the Windhoek High Court, anti-phosphate protestors took to the capital's streets to make their...

Indigenous plants key in poverty battle

1 week ago - 11 September 2019 | Environment

The sustainable wild harvesting and trade in indigenous natural plants has the potential to contribute significantly to the alleviation of rural poverty and the conservation...

200 000 to benefit from climate grant

1 week ago - 06 September 2019 | Environment

More than 200 000 people will benefit from the recent grant that the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) secured from the Green Climate Fund. Environment minister...

Namibia disappointed in CITES

1 week ago - 06 September 2019 | Environment

Environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta says Namibia was disappointed with the decisions made by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild...

Shifeta a tulapo omulandu omupe

2 weeks ago - 04 September 2019 | Environment

Ominista yomidhingoloko, Pohamba Shifeta oya gandja etseyitho kutya iilikolomwa ayihe yopaiyemo okuza muukongo oya pumbwa okupitila momayalulo goombaanga dhuuministeli opo ku vule okukalekwapo uuyelele...

Ministry stops pilfering of hunting fees

2 weeks ago - 03 September 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has issued a directive that all proceeds from hunting concessions must be channelled through the ministry's account in order to improve...

Aerial wildlife survey coming

2 weeks ago - 03 September 2019 | Environment

An aerial wildlife survey will be conducted for the Zambezi and Kavango regions, including the Bwabwata and Khaudum national parks and parts of its neighbouring...

Prioritiseer jou omgewing

2 weeks ago - 03 September 2019 | Environment

Mariselle StofbergWeens die toename in stropery in die land het die Regshulpsentrum (LAC) ? projek van stapel gestuur wat fokus op omgewingsbewustheid en natuurbeskerming...

Latest News

Roar young lions, roar!

1 hour ago | Columns

Youth without a consistent voice are inevitably excluded from the pockets of power that exist throughout societies.Youth who become praise-singers and imbongis, even when they...

Teko trio walk free

1 hour ago | Justice

Teckla Lameck, Jerobeam Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yang Fang, known as the Teko trio, have been found not guilty of all charges relating to a...

'He decided to flee'

1 hour ago | Crime

Defence minister Penda Ya Ndakolo says Benisius Kalola (32), the second unarmed civilian killed during Operation Kalahari Desert this year, was shot when he fled...

280 cops deployed against poachers

1 hour ago | Crime

The Namibian police have deployed 280 members to assist in the fight against poaching.Inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga says these members, selected from across the country, are...

Uanivi gets Warriors chance

1 hour ago | Sports

African Stars veteran defender Pat-Navin Uanivi has finally been selected for the national team after years of being omitted. Uanivi forms part of Brave Warriors...

Horn suspended for alleged doping

1 hour ago | Sports

South African women's 100m record holder Carina Horn has been suspended from competition over doping allegations.The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Monday: “The AIU...

'Hitman' faces tough brawl

1 hour ago | Sports

Former two-time world champion Paulus 'Hitman' Moses is set for tough night, as he not only faces Russia's Adlan Aburashidov, but also the home-ground advantage...

Loubser ready to get his...

1 hour ago | Sports

Four years ago, Cliven Loubser was inspired after watching his native Namibia score a try against New Zealand and earn their first Rugby World Cup...

Billionaire pushes oil deal

1 day - 18 September 2019 | Energy

Comsar, the proponent of a 250 megawatt power station, says the government is moving at snail's pace in getting the project off the ground.The company,...

Load More