'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]

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Clearing the shelters one adoption at a time

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Environment

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Windhoek held their Clear the Shelter day on Saturday, 9 November. A total of...

Devil's claw under threat

4 days ago - 14 November 2019 | Environment

The increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest, as well as illegal fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community...

Shifeta warns sand miners

1 week ago - 11 November 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has warned sand miners that they will be held responsible for any deaths caused by their damage to the environment.He said...

Environmental clearance now online

3 weeks ago - 28 October 2019 | Environment

In order to improve the environmental clearance process the environment ministry has implemented an on-line application system. Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says the...

Mismanagement in spotlight

1 month - 16 October 2019 | Environment

The new Wildlife and Protected Areas Management Bill, once enacted, will help the environment ministry to correct and enforce good governance and accountability in conservancies.Environment...

Biodiversity generates N$13 billion

1 month - 16 October 2019 | Environment

It is estimated that approximately N$13 billion in revenue is generated annually from biodiversity, with an estimated 40% of this accounted for by tourism and...

Conference looks at bio-economy potential

1 month - 09 October 2019 | Environment

The Hanns Seidel Foundation last week hosted a national conference themed 'The current status of sustainable natural resource management in Namibia and ways to unlock...

Seabed mining 'too risky'

1 month - 07 October 2019 | Environment

Fisheries minister Bernard Esau says the ocean is in enough trouble with climate change and pollution, and should not be further destabilised by deep-sea mining...

Concerns mount over ­hardwood plundering

1 month - 07 October 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says the ministry is still worried about the commercial harvesting of slow-growing hardwood trees for exporting overseas. He was speaking at...

Giraffe meat was anti-poaching unit rations

1 month - 04 October 2019 | Environment

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) says a giraffe carcass discovered in a freezer at one of its resorts was not illegally hunted.This was said yesterday by...

Latest News

August 26 CEO innovates

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph ...

Fishing quotas under scrutiny

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Fishing

President Hage Geingob and acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana will meet next week to discuss the credibility of the fishing quota allocation process, as well...

Geingob was 'talked out of'...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob had written dismissal letters for ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau on Wednesday morning, but a high-level meeting that included Vice-president Nangolo...

Helping people help themselves

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarjolize Scholtz has been a wellness professional for over 17 years. During her career her empathy towards people has grown immensely. Scholtz was...

Putting on a corporate...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Margaret Thatcher once quipped that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Langford...

Fuelled by ­creativity

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk “Every challenge is put on your path to groom you and build you and if I had the opportunity to change something...

A musician at heart

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know...

EVMs in the firing line

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Politics

Independent president candidate Panduleni Itula, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo will square off in the electoral court on Tuesday, 19 November over...

Unshackling the toothless ACC

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said about the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the years. Many have called it toothless.Revelations this week that it has been sitting on...

Load More