KAWE - Kavango East governor, Bonifatius Wakudumo called on Recon Africa to employ the local community during the planned exploration activity in Kawe village. The governor made this call while officially launching the oil and gas exploration project by the Canadian petroleum company, Recon Africa.
Wakudumo said countries can only develop when local communities are included through employment and training when such projects commence. He further added that gone were the days when local people were just spectators of such activities without benefiting.
“I humbly request in the presence of the founder of Recon Africa, we want full participation of the local populace of these two regions. What we are saying is that, if these activities are happening here, the surrounding communities need to be first considered,” Wakudumo stressed.
Currently, Recon Africa has employed over 130 skilled and unskilled workers, of which 80% are from the local community. Furthermore, the governor urged the petroleum company to only rope in the people with technical skills that are not found in the region.
Founder of Recon Africa, Craig Steinke, in attendance at the launch assured the governor that locals will be considered for employment opportunities as this is Recon Africa’s policy.
“It is a strong policy of Recon Africa to employ Namibian nationals. You can see once we are drilling, a good measure of people who are already on site here is Namibian nationals,” Steinke said.
Ildefonso Chimabaya, senior liaison officer at the project, called on communities to be patient, noting that the project is still at the beginning. He added that skills transfer is one of the main priorities of the project and that locals will benefit as 80% of the current workforce is from the local community.
“Locals will benefit. This is ours! I am a local. I am here as a chief liaison officer. I am dealing with the community work, I also deal with logistics and everything; it’s just a matter of getting the green light and good results and then a lot of jobs will come and things will start picking up,” said Chimabaya.
Recon Africa began with drilling operations of the first well of an initial three wells programme in the Kavango Basin. The company is drilling to a 12500m total depth to analyse potential hydrocarbon systems.