LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Threat of fracking looms large over Okavango Delta and other conservation areas
You won’t believe it: A Canadian company is bringing a rig to Namibia and then to Botswana to ascertain the potential for fracking in – wait for it – the Okavango Delta and Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area in Botswana and northern Namibia.
Daily Maverick has already published an article on this (16 September 2020). Now the deadly rig is due in Walvis Bay on 9 December. Deadly, because you can only ascertain the potential for gas and oil by drilling, and thereby threatening the unique geological structure of the Okavango Delta.
ReconAfrica’s permit area in north eastern Namibia and northwestern Botswana fall wholly within the boundaries of the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) in which the international border of five nations converge.
Horrendous. Unbelievable that such a scheme could be proposed and planned, and even approved by the governments involved. A scheme that will destroy some of the most sacred and spectacular places, not only in Africa but the world.
This drilling will bring death to the Okavango Delta and its unique and teeming wildlife. It will bring death to the indigenous San people and their way of life. This is not only a matter of genocide but also ecocide. It is deeply sinful to destroy God’s creation.
How can anyone do it, you may ask, and how can anyone support it with finance? The answer is easy – for the money. Money in our contemporary world has become more important than life.
We call on all investment companies and all private financiers to refrain from investing in this nefarious venture. If anyone argues that jobs and money will be made, know that the Okavango and its wildlife are of infinitely greater value. If this area is fracked, it will be destroyed forever.
It is but one instance of our ongoing dash to death madness. No one, no company, no government should be putting money into exploration for and extraction of fossil fuels. We know we have to stop burning fossil fuels as a matter of urgency. We don’t have 10 years. We have to start turning the tide within the next two to three years. The glaciers, the ice caps, the Greenland ice are all melting — now! The tundra is thawing now, releasing methane. The forests are burning. The oceans are warming. The land temperatures are increasing. We must turn this tide now.
All the money that continues to go towards exploration for and subsidy of fossil fuels, can and must be invested now in renewable energy, into life for the future. DM
Bishop Geoff Davies, ‘The Green Bishop’, is the founder and honorary patron of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, and retired Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Umzumvubu.
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