NKURENKURU – ReconAfrica held its consultative meeting with the public and stakeholders last week in Nkurenkuru on the oil and gas exploration project by the Canadian company.
The exploration was commissioned on Thursday at Kawe village in Kavango East.
ReconAfrica acquired its petroleum licence from the Ministry of Mines and Energy in 2015 for exploration in both the Kavango East and Kavango West regions.
In Kavango West, the exploration exercise will cover Ncamagoro, Gcuru, Ncuncuni and Ncaute settlements in the Ncuncuni and Ncamagoro constituencies.
During the public meeting which specifically targeted the local communities in Kavango West, the environmental assessment practitioner from Risk-Based Solutions cc, Sindila Mwiya, indicated the survey operations will have no negative impact on the enviroment.
“The proposed survey will be conducted along existing roads and tracks, using an environmentally friendly, limited footprint and efficient light trucks and does not fall in an environmentally proclaimed protected or sensitive area nor in a groundwater protection zone,” he stated.
The governor of the region, Sirkka Ausiku, encouraged other investors to explore economic investment opportunities in the identified sectors as this will help curb the unemployment rate in the region.
She, however, emphasised the importance of understanding how the region will directly benefit during all phases of the project.
“The region is requesting that a direct benefit for ReconAfrica directly supports the Regional Development Fund for Kavango West. This will directly support the learners and community from the region and improve their livelihood,“ she noted.
ReconAfrica spokesperson Claire Preece assured the stakeholders the company would take the suggestions from the stakeholders into consideration.
“Our value system is to always protect the enviroment, to always engage stakeholders, to listen, to be transparent and take steps together as a team,” she said.
Preece also emphasised that their company values social responsibility highly and that whatever step they take is to make a difference in Namibia.
Wilhelm Kotokeni, the Kavango West Youth Forum chairperson, who was part of the stakeholder group, said the consultation was positive as the presentation cleared the misconceptions regarding the exploration.
“We are well aware now that there are still no negative impacts on both communities and the environment as per the stage where they are now; communities and stakeholders are on track with ReconAfrica’s activities,” he said, adding: “I would like to suggest that this consultation be taken to the communities and be explained further in local languages.”