Wildlife and environmental campaigners have called for international action as concerns grow over a project to create a massive oilfield in one of Africa’s last wildernesses.
A large part of the oil exploration areas in both Botswana and Namibia falls within the Okavango River Basin which flows into the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fracking is banned in some countries and has been blamed for serious water pollution, among others, and threats to the regional water supply are among environmentalists’ biggest concerns.Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS
ReconAfrica, a Canadian oil and gas company, has licensed drilling areas in over 34,000sq km of land in parts of northern Namibia and Botswana that overlap with Africa’s Kavango-Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area (KAZA), which includes land in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
A large part of the exploration areas in both Botswana and Namibia falls within the Okavango River Basin which flows into the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which supports the world’s largest remaining population of endangered savanna elephants, as well as dozens of other endangered or vulnerable species such as rhinos, wild dogs, and pangolins. It is also home to 200,000 people.