Under fire ReconAfrica, through its Namibian subsidiary, Reconnaissance Energy has pledged N$15 million in aid to government.
They joined several private companies that have since last year donated millions of dollars and medical supplies to government as the country is ravaged by a deadly Covid-19 wave.
The donation is earmarked for the procurement, distribution and administration of Covid-19 vaccines and other related expenditures.
The Canadian-listed company recently came under fire over its plans to drill test wells roughly one and a half miles deep in the Kavango East and West regions to determine the presence of exploitable oil and gas.
In April, ReconAfrica announced the first well had “clear evidence of a working conventional petroleum system in the Kavango Basin”.
Environmentalists and community leaders fear ReconAfrica’s activities could permanently change the Kavango Basin.
Locals have also complained that they were not consulted. All People’s Party (APP) secretary general Vinsent Kanyetu in April claimed traditional authorities in the areas where ReconAfrica is exploring for oil have not been consulted.
Kanyetu called on ReconAfrica owners or directors to engage the traditional leaders, who are the custodians of the area.
“We consulted the Shambyu and Ukwangali traditional leaders and they don’t have full information as to what is really happening and how they are going to benefit if the resources are discovered and the oil drilling has to continue,” said Kanyetu.
“Our hearts go out to the people of Namibia during these extremely difficult times, and we hope these donations will add some energy to our collective battle to beat Covid-19 and alleviate the effects and losses your country is enduring,” said Williams Scot Evans, ReconAfrica’s CEO when he handed over the donation on Monday.
Commending ReconAfrica for the support, Office of the Prime Minister executive director I-Ben Nashandi expressed its appreciation to Recon Africa for partnering with the government to acquire vaccines, which is a necessity to save lives.
He further urged all Namibians to embrace all health measures, including taking vaccines to build herd immunity for Namibia.
ReconAfrica received a drilling permit from the environmental commissioner’s office in October 2019.
The government has issued an EIA.
ReconAfrica bought a 1 000 HP rig in the US and it should be shipped from Texas in October. The first well, 6-2, is in Block 1819. This is in the Mashare constituency of the Kavango East region, within the Sambyu authority. The second well is 5-6, is in the Ncamangoro constituency.
A map in the company’s environmental management plan (EMP) puts the first well close to the Omatako ephemeral river. This is a waterway that flows only at certain times of the year. Recon Africa does not plan to drill the two wells within national parks or community forest areas.